The multi-year drama has come to an end: the Volkswagen Group has taken full control of Porsche. That will allow for more collaboration between Porsche and other Volkswagen Group brands in the future, although the automakers promise that Porsche will still be allowed to “retain its own identity.”
The story began in 2008, when Porsche announced it owned 75 percent of Volkswagen’s shares and prepared to mount a takeover. But Porsche suddenly racked up huge debts as the global economy collapsed, making that planned deal impossible. Instead, Volkswagen engineered a sort of merger with Porsche in 2009 — firing then-Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking in the process.
It’s taken some time for the deal between Volkswagen and Porsche to be completed, and it remains a somewhat complicated business arrangement. A holding company called Porsche Automobil Holding SE controls 50.1 percent of Porsche shares, and transferred those to Volkswagen AG as of yesterday. That means Volkswagen now controls 100 percent of Porsche shares, via both its own stake and that of the Porsche SE holding company.
Porsche had effectively been part of the Volkswagen Group for some time — the sports car manufacturer had long been included in the Volkswagen Group Night presentations ahead of major auto shows, for instance. This acquisition further expands the reach of the behemoth Volkswagen Group, which also controls Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Scania, Seat, Skoda, and truck and diesel equipment group MAN SE. Luxury division Audi, for its part, recently acquired Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati.