Just moments ago, Porsche Automobil Holding SE released a joint statement from Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and his Deputy Uwe Hück on the Ultimatum by Volkswagen and the State of Lower Saxon (more on the ultimatum after the release):
“We trust that as in the past we are planning a successful future together with VW to the benefit of both Companies. Hence, we are deeply concerned and irritated by the wording of the ultimatum.
We will not give in to such pressure or blackmail. Such action does not help anybody. It is detrimental to the entire cause. This is not the way to support and uphold common interests.
The 21st century is not the time for ultimatums. We wonder what the whole matter is really about and whether the focus is still on our common cause at all.
A further point: wherever used, whether in private life or in politics, and particularly in business, ultimatums have never served a positive purpose helping to reach the objective aspired.
We sincerely hope that the perpetrators of the ultimatum, in consideration of our common interests, calm down again and follow up their proposals in internal discussions and not through headlines.
We are open to such talks at any time.“
The release above is in answer to a story in Spiegel Magazine's online edition today. Spiegel reported that Porsche Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking and Chairman Wolfgang Porsche have been urged to agree by the end of June that VW takes a 49 percent stake in Porsche's sports car business for 3-4 billion euros ($4.2-$5.6 billion). Adding further fuel to the fire, VW threatened it could insist on calling due the 700 million euro loan it provided Porsche, should Porsche reject the offer.
The most interesting part in all of this, at least to me, is the fact that Spiegel reported this entire story without citing a source. By releasing the statement above, Porsche not only gives credibility to the Spiegel report, it adds further emphasis that this is more of a personal family battle (Piech vs. Porsche/Wiedeking) than a complex financial merger between two storied and interconnected automotive brands.
[Source: Porsche SE, Reuters, Spiegel]