Qatar to buy Porsche capital increase shares
Qatar will take part in a capital increase by Porsche, a step towards the luxury sportscar maker's takeover by Volkswagen, a spokesman for the Gulf emirate said on Wednesday.
"The head of Qatar Holdings has said he will take part" in the operation, but has not specified the amount he is willing to invest, the spokesman said, referring to the emirate's sovereign wealth fund.
"He added that the emirate backed the merger" of Volkswagen and Porsche, a position it had already expressed, the spokesman said.
VW, Europe's biggest carmaker, plans to take over Porsche this year but has warned the timetable might be extended.
Porsche must reduce a debt pile of around six billion euros ($8.0 billion) it accumulated during its own unsuccessful bid to take over VW.
Porsche plans to do so with a capital increase worth five billion euros that was initially to be finalised by the end of May.
That might take until the end of August, however.
Qatar already owns 17 percent of the voting rights in VW and 10 percent of those in the Porsche holding company.
Both automakers come from a family empire founded by Ferdinand Porsche, the grandfather of Ferdinand Piech, who is head of VW's supervisory board.
VW expects a Porsche takeover to help it become the world's largest auto manufacturer by 2018.
VW has also bought 20 percent of the Japanese group Suzuki, is interested in the Italian brand Alfa Romeo and wants to create a heavy-truck unit with the dominant holdings it owns in Scania and MAN.
© 2011 AFP