Porsche Automobil Holding SE, is a German holding company with investments in the automotive industry.
Porsche SE is headquartered in Zuffenhausen, a city district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg and is owned by the Piëch and Porsche families, and Qatar Holdings, through the Qatar Investment Authority (10%). Porsche owns 50.73% of the voting rights in Volkswagen AG, and 50.1% of Porsche Zwischenholding GmbH, which owns 100% of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, the manufacturer of a range of sports cars and SUVs.
On July 2012, it was announced that Volkswagen AG was taking over the Porsche automotive company completely, which bears the same name, but is only a subsidiary of Porsche SE.
The company was founded in Stuttgart as Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, an Austrian engineer born in Maffersdorf, during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Porsche’s son-in-law Anton Piëch, an Austrian lawyer.”
Relationship with Volkswagen
The company has always had a close relationship with, initially, the Volkswagen (VW) marque, and later, the Volkswagen Group (which also owns Audi AG), because the first Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. The two companies collaborated in 1969 to make the VW-Porsche 914 and 914-6, whereby the 914-6 had a Porsche engine, and the 914 had a Volkswagen engine, in 1976 with the Porsche 912E (USA only) and the Porsche 924, which used many Audi components, and was built at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory. Porsche 944s were also built there, although they used far fewer Volkswagen components. The Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares its entire chassis with Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7, which is built at the Volkswagen Group factory in Bratislava. In late 2005, Porsche took an 18.65% stake in the Volkswagen Group, further cementing their relationship, and preventing a takeover of Volkswagen Group, which was rumoured at the time. Speculated suitors included DaimlerChrysler AG, BMW, and Renault.
Combined badging of the European 914
On 26 March 2007, Porsche took its holding of Volkswagen AG shares to 30.9%, triggering a takeover bid under German law. Porsche then formally announced in a press statement that it did not intend to take over Volkswagen Group (it would set its offer price at the lowest possible legal value) but intended the move to avoid a competitor taking a large stake, and to stop hedge funds dismantling Volkswagen Group, which is Porsche’s most important partner. Porsche’s move comes after the European Union moved against a German law that protected Volkswagen AG from takeovers. Under the so-called Volkswagen Law, any shareholder with more than 20% of the voting rights has veto power over any corporate decision in the annual general meeting – in effect, any shareholder in VW AG cannot exercise more than 20% of the firm’s voting rights, regardless of their level of stock holding. (The local state government of Lower Saxony owns 20.1% of the shares.) However, the European Court of Justice ruled against the law, potentially paving the way for a takeover.
On 16 September 2008, Porsche increased its holdings by another 4.89%, in effect taking control of the company, with more than 35% of the voting rights. It again triggered a takeover bid, but this time over Audi. Porsche dismissed the bid as a mere formality, since it is Porsche’s intention to keep the corporate structure of the Volkswagen Group.
There has been some tension and anxiety amongst the Volkswagen Group workers, who fear that a Porsche takeover might signify a hardened production efficiency control, rejection of demands for payment rises or even personnel cuts. Ferdinand Piëch and his cousin, Wolfgang Porsche, also seemed to be on a collision course.
On 13 August 2009, Volkswagen AG’s Supervisory Board signed the agreement to create an “integrated automotive group” with Porsche, led by Volkswagen AG. Volkswagen will initially take a 49.9 percent stake in Porsche AG by the end of 2009, and it will also see the family shareholders selling the automobile trading business of Porsche Holding Salzburg to Volkswagen AG.
On 5 July 2012, Volkswagen AG announced a deal with Porsche resulting in VW’s full ownership of Porsche on 1 August 2012. The deal was classified as a restructuring rather than a takeover due to the transfer of a single share as part of the deal. Volkswagen AG paid Porsche shareholders $5.61 billion for the remaining 50.1% it did not own.