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Old 09-25-2005, 06:33 AM   #1
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This is very interesting!

September 25, 2005 7:33 a.m.

BERLIN Luxury-sports-car maker Porsche AG said Sunday it plans to acquire a stake of about 20% in Volkswagen AG, a move aimed at strengthening ties between the auto makers and preventing a future hostile takeover of Volkswagen.

Porsche said Volkswagen has become "a significant supplier for about 30% of our sales volume'' as well as "an important partner in development.'' The two companies recently announced that they, along with Audi AG, were forming an alliance to develop hybrid engines.
"With this engagement, we want to secure our business relations with VW and also safeguard in the long term a significant part of our future planning,'' Porsche Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking said in a statement.

Stuttgart, Germany-based Porsche said it hoped the investment would enable it to head off any future hostile takeover of Volkswagen by investors "who do not have the long-term interests of VW as their aim.''

That scenario could arise if the European Court of Justice rules against a German law that effectively prevents the company, Europe's largest auto maker, from such a takeover.

"Our planned investment is the strategic answer to this risk,'' Mr. Wiedeking said. Porsche said it was in contact with Volkswagen's management.

The European Commission took Germany to court last year over the VW law. It has long argued that the decades-old law goes against the grain of the 25-nation bloc's single-market principles, although German politicians claim it helps ensure stability at the company.

The commission objects to provisions of the 1960 law privatizing Volkswagen that cap a shareholder's voting rights at 20%, regardless of the number of shares held, and requires a majority of 80% for "important decisions.''

The state of Lower Saxony, where VW's Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters is situated, is currently the biggest shareholder, with a stake of 18.2%.

Volkswagen shares rose late last week amid rumors that a large investor was building up a stake in the company. On Friday, they closed up 3.4% at $62.49.

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Old 09-25-2005, 10:11 AM   #2
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It makes sense to me...

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