By CARTER DOUGHERTY
Published: June 19, 2009 NY Times
FRANKFURT — When Wolfgang Porsche learned that his family’s sports car company would need an emergency cash infusion from its giant rival Volkswagen, he “went absolutely white.”
“It was as though he’d heard someone died,” said one person briefed on the secret meeting between executives of the two companies.
The meeting, at the offices of the governor of Lower Saxony state, where Volkswagen is based, effectively ended the company’s audacious bid for Europe’s largest automaker. It also was the beginning of the end of Porsche’s cherished independence.
Win and energy efficiency award for Porsche RS Spyder
The success story of the Porsche RS Spyder continues: At the Le Mans 24 Hour race, the Essex team (Denmark) celebrated a clear victory in the LMP2 class. The 440 hp sports prototype from Weissach also won the energy efficiency classification “Michelin Green X Challenge” as the car with the best overall efficiency, calculated by the ratio between lap times and fuel consumption. The RS Spyder of the Danish customer team beat its rivals in the LMP2 class by 15 laps. One hour before the end of the race, the RS Spyder of NAVI Team GOH spun off the track while running an easy second under braking for the first chicane on the Hunaudières straight on an oil spill of a competitor, hit the barriers and retired. The Japanese driver Seiji Ara was uninjured.
Editor: Chuck Penfold
German luxury sportscar maker Porsche says it’s negotiating with the Gulf state of Qatar as the exclusive candidate to buy a stake in the heavily-indebted company.
A Porsche spokesman in Stuttgart confirmed the news amid speculation of the possible involvement of a Middle Eastern investor. Details are still sketchy, but the Financial Times newspaper quoted sources close to the talks as reporting that the Qatar Investment Authority was interested in a stake of up to 25 percent in Porsche’s holding company.
Analysts say such an investment would considerably strengthen Porsche’s bargaining power in troubled merger talks with Volkswagen.
By Chris Reiter
(Bloomberg) — Porsche SE, strained by 9 billion euros ($12.5 billion) in net debt, may sell its options on Volkswagen AG shares to an investor as the sports-car maker seeks to combine with VW, a person familiar with the plan said.
Porsche is examining a sale of the call options that can be converted into about 20 percent of VW as part of its discussions with investors, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. The move may help Stuttgart, Germany-based Porsche raise money before a planned integration with Europe’s largest carmaker, the person said.
Porsche may be unable to exercise the options, which have helped the carmaker’s profits exceed sales, as it struggles to raise fresh financing, analysts including UniCredit SpA’s Georg Stuerzer have said. Germany’s government said today it needs more time to consider Porsche’s request for a 1.75 billion-euro loan from KfW Group, the country’s state-owned development bank.
“It’s not clear that Porsche would achieve much de- leveraging in a sale,” said Philippe Houchois, an analyst at UBS AG in London. “The options might be worth nothing.”
By James Wilson
(Frankfurt) Porsche yesterday said it would ask for a €1.75bn ($2.48bn) loan from the German government’s economic stimulus programme to secure the final amount of refinancing it needs.
The application to KfW, the German state-owned development bank, is the second to be made by Porsche as the sports car maker seeks to secure €12.5bn of credit lines after its expensive attempt to take over Volkswagen. Porsche abandoned the VW takeover attempt, agreeing instead to explore options to merge or integrate the two companies.
A loan to Porsche would come from a €40bn fund that KfW is using to provide corporate financing as part of Berlin’s stimulus programme. It is designed to provide access for financially sound companies to credit if other banks withdraw funding.