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Porsche reported to seek majority control of Volkswagen

Porsche dismissed Saturday a fresh news report that it was planning to secure majority control of Volkswagen, the German-based car group, which it already dominates.

The news magazine Der Spiegel quoted rumors on stock exchanges that Porsche was busily acquiring options on Volkswagen shares with a view to securing 51% of the maker of Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars. This would enable Porsche chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking to acquire the stock later at a fixed price. Spiegel said brokers estimated Porsche would surpass the 50% level early next year. Asked for comment by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, a Porsche spokesman said there was no board resolution to seek a majority of Volkswagen, adding, “This is just everyday speculation.”

Spiegel said that before taking a majority, the new Porsche Automobil Holding SE would have to be registered as a European Union corporation. It is wholly owned by the Porsche and Piech families and owns all the voting shares in Porsche as well as Porsche’s present 31% stake in Volkswagen. Speigel said Porsche sought majority ownership for the sake of direct control, because so far there had been practically no joint projects between the two as Stuttgart-based Porsche had hoped. (m&