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Volkswagen‘s all-conquering progress towards becoming the world’s biggest car manufacturer took the next step on the road today when they agreed to finally take the remaining 50.01% stake in Porsche that they didn’t already own. In 2009, they acquired 49.9% of the supercar giant, but were stymied in their attempt for a total takeover by regulatory concerns and the threat of a 1 billion euro tax bill.
In the spirit of imaginative legislative adventure, the two firms have discovered a loophole meaning that if VW use one common share to finalise the purchase the tax bill can be avoided and the takeover can now happen several years ahead of the 2014 target they initially agreed to. The deal will be classed as a merger rather than a takeover.
The move originally came about when an ambitious bid was launched by Porsche to takovever Volkswagen in 2009. Falling short of the asking price, Porsche acquired large debts in its efforts and found itself the subject of a counter-takeover from VW.
The move will create a group that will span brands from the highest of the high end (Bugatti, Porsche) to once-comedy names revitalised under the VW umbrella (Skoda). With global austerity being offset by the potential for growth in Asian markets – particularly China – Volkswagen will be hoping to cement their presence their in all sectors of the market to compete with local rivals such as a BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as the other automotive juggernauts from Japan and the US.