Porsche's Share Sale Has Shareholders' Support

Porsche investors approved a EUR5 billion stock sale to reduce the company's debt prior to its merger with Europe's largest carmaker, Volkswagen AG. Company shareholders voted in favor of the fund raising, half of which will come from the Porsche and Piech families. 88 percent of preferred shareholders voted in favor of the stock sale, according to company officials.

"All stakeholders will benefit as a result,” said VW Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn, who also runs Porsche's holding company. “You are playing a key role in two of the companies best placed to master the challenges of tomorrow's automotive industry.”

In August 2009, the sports car manufacturer agreed to merge with Volkswagen after failing to take over the German carmaker. Porsche's share sale is expected to be completed by the end of May 2011, to help the company pay a EUR 2.5 million bank loan that expires at the end of June.

“The capital increase is a necessary step to take if the merger with VW is to be achieved,” Jens Meyer, a fund manager at Frankfurt-based Deka Investment GmbH, said at the meeting. “A merger is the only chance to be able to participate in the carmaker's healthy long-term financial basis.”

Porsche managed to accumulate more than EUR10 million in debt in its attempt to takeover Volkswagen, posting negative financial results in two consecutive years. Volkswagen now owns 49.9 percent of Porsche's car making operations. The merger between the two automakers is still postponed, awaiting resolution of tax disputes in Germany and lawsuits in the US.
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