VW buys Porsche sales unit for 3.3 bn euros
Europe's biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, said Tuesday that it has finalised the purchase of the automobile trading business of Porsche Holding Salzburg (PHS) for 3.3 billion euros ($4.55 billion).
The acquisition, part of a comprehensive agreement between the two companies, is the "next major step towards the creation of the integrated automotive group of Volkswagen and Porsche," a statement said.
PHS is responsible for the distribution and sale of Porsche sportscars and was described by VW chairman Martin Winterkorn as "one of the world's most efficient and profitable automobile trading companies."
VW sales director Christian Klingler said that "under the Volkswagen group umbrella, PHS will retain its status as an independent organisational unit and continue with its business model unchanged. All assets remain intact."
VW already owns 49.9 percent of Porsche's core manufacturing unit and plans to buy the rest, making it the group's 10th brand.
The long-awaited deal has hit a snag however, as prosecutors in Stuttgart, southern Germany, pursue a probe into former Porsche executives for suspected stock price manipulation in connection with a previous, failed attempt by Porsche to take over the much bigger VW.
© 2011 AFP