Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, the head of Porsche Holding, and Porsche’s group works council chairman Uwe Huck took time to answer Porsche staff questions about the impending takeover of VW. It appeared to go well enough: Wolfgang said the Porsche and Piech families met, and Ferdinand Piech, the head of VW, “clearly stated that he unreservedly supports the course of Porsche Automobil Holding SE in all points and is fully and entirely behind the chairmen.” It was also said that Piech did not support the committee formed to approve Porsche and Audi cooperation, that the co-detemination agreement between Porsche and VW would remain fair to the larger and smaller company, and that the VW Law would be struck down.
Porsche Plan To Take Over Volkswagen
The only thing missing from the love fest was… Ferdinand Piech. The VW chief and supposed cause of much of Porsche’s troubles didn’t attend — his sentiments were conveyed by Dr. Porsche with peculiar phrasing. For instance, even though Porsche said Piech didn’t approve of the technology sharing committee, Piech purposely didn’t attend the meeting that cast the votes. It all sounded good, but until Piech is forced to sit down in public and decide one way or another, we’ll wait for the next turn in the soap opera before we assume everything is safe. You can check out the details of this latest turn in the press release after the jump.
Porsche continues its bid to gain a controlling interest in VW, announcing on Sunday that it will raise its stake in Germany’s largest automaker from its current 42.6 % to 75 % by 2009. The company also said it would reach a 50 % stake in VW by December. Porsche also owns another 31.5% of VW in cash-settled options, which is not the same as direct equity stake.
Under German law, control of a company requires 75% share of the vote at any given stockholder meeting. But VW has traditionally required an 80% share, giving the government of Lower-Saxony, which owns a minority stake in VW, addtional power over the company. The German state of Lower-Saxony, along with the worker’s council which represents VW’s organised labor, is opposed to Porsche taking control of VW.
VW’s stock has been hit by the volatility caused by the current financial crisis, with its stock soaring and then falling again in recent weeks, but has increased in value by 77% over the last 12 months due to investor support for Porsche’s takeover bid.
Source: Porsche via autoblog & carscoop
The Porsche and Piëch families have agreed: “We stand united behind all decisions”
Stuttgart — 24/10/2008: In an additional works meeting today, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, partner and chairman of the supervisory board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE and Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, and group works council chairman Uwe Hück answered the outstanding questions surrounding the takeover of VW by Porsche in front of the staff of the sports car manufacturer. The public discussion had led to irritation, including among Porsche staff.
Wolfgang Porsche stressed that at a meeting of the Porsche and Piëch families the previous weekend, alongside the other family members Dr. Ferdinand Piëch had also clearly stated that he unreservedly supports the course of Porsche Automobil Holding SE in all points and is fully and entirely behind the chairmen Dr. Wiedeking and Holger Härter and their work. Wolfgang Porsche said: If there were uncertainties over the shared goals of the families in the VW acquisition, this was not in the interest of Ferdinand Piëch.”
He continued, saying that the codetermination agreement was a point of dispute between the union representatives of Porsche and VW. In this context, Ferdinand Piëch, who is chairman of the VW supervisory board, stated that this agreement met with his total support.
With a view to the VW supervisory board meeting on September 12, 2008, when it was decided, in the absence of Ferdinand Piëch, to create a committee for special business relationships, said Wolfgang Porsche: “This committee has been legally examined with the conclusion that it encroaches too much on the competences of the VW board. That’s why Ferdinand Piëch will request the dissolution of this committee at the next VW supervisory board meeting.”
A new edition of the VW law is also untenable, not only in the view of Porsche, but also clearly in the opinion of Ferdinand Piëch – especially after the far-reaching concessions offered by the board of Porsche SE on the question of job security.
The group works council chairman Uwe Hück indicated that there had been significant uncertainty within the Porsche workforce over the last few weeks regarding the future of Porsche. “Porsche staff want to remain independent in the future”, emphasized Hück. He indicated that he is still willing to compromise with the VW group works council on the subject of codetermination. According to Hück, it is necessary to hold on to the right of veto regarding the termination of the codetermination agreement. Without this right of veto, VW could terminate the codetermination agreement and outvote the workforces of small sub-groups on all matters through its pure size. However, the Porsche workforce does not consider this to be acceptable. Hück consequently welcomed the news that the codetermination agreement also enjoys unreserved support from Ferdinand Piëch.
The composition of the supervisory board, with three members each from Porsche and VW staff, is appropriate to the structure of the group. Wolfgang Porsche explained, “My cousin Ferdinand Piëch is convinced that this codetermination agreement has achieved a suitable solution for both workforces.”
Wolfgang Porsche stressed that the Porsche and Piëch families had always fulfilled their role with the necessary responsibility and personal commitment. To explain, he said, “In this context, however, responsibility also means that the families stand united behind all decisions that are reached together.” Alongside Ferdinand Piëch, he is firmly convinced that the board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE and Porsche AG, with the support of the VW board and the two workforces can lead the combined company to a successful future in the current difficult economic climate.
Hück concluded by saying, “We should now agree with employee representatives from VW, because both Porsche and VW are great companies with great staff”. He emphasized that Porsche staff are keen to work together with the staff of VW.