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Porsche raises its VW stake over 35%, says it has control

September 17, 2008|From the Associated Press

BERLIN — Porsche raised its stake in German automaker Volkswagen on Tuesday to more than 35% -- a move that it said gave it effective control over Europe's biggest carmaker.

Porsche Automobil Holding previously held a stake of a little more than 30% and has said it plans to raise that to a majority holding. It said it acquired an additional 4.89% for an unspecified amount Tuesday -- taking its share of the voting rights to 35.14%.

Porsche said in a statement that "as a result of this acquisition, Volkswagen . . . has become a subsidiary of Porsche Automobil Holding SE" under German securities laws.

"This step ensures that Porsche has a lasting majority at the VW annual general meeting," the company, based in Stuttgart, Germany, said. It added that employee representatives of Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen would now take seats on Porsche's employee council and supervisory board.

"Our goal continues to be to increase our stake in Volkswagen to more than 50%," Porsche Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking said. "Today's step is a further milestone along this road."

Wiedeking also voiced hope for "a quick resolution of the conflict between the employee representatives of Porsche and VW."

Representatives of the two companies have tussled over the future distribution of employee council and supervisory board seats, with Volkswagen representatives fearing that their counterparts at the smaller Porsche would dominate.

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