Porsche and Piech families seek takeover of Volkswagen – sources

The Porsche and Piech families, who control the Porsche SE holding company – which owns most of Volkswagen’s voting rights – hope to lead the group back to calmer waters after a turbulent period under outgoing CEO Herbert Diess, they added. .

« They want to keep a closer eye on the implementation of the strategic directions, » a person with knowledge of the families’ thinking told Reuters.

Under Diess, Volkswagen has taken major steps towards electrification, but its direct style has provoked opposition within the company that has at times clipped its achievements, testing the patience of families, the sources said.

As a result, they plan to steer a tighter ship.

« Families are actively involved – a capability they have long been thought incapable of, » said a second source.

This greater influence has already resulted in the appointment of Oliver Blume as Volkswagen’s next CEO, a move that has drawn criticism from several investors as he will also remain the head of Porsche AG even after the IPO in planned scholarship.

Touted as the « preferred candidate » of the Porsche and Piech clan, Mr Blume is set to push ahead with the long-awaited IPO of Porsche AG, the families’ namesake automaker, which he has run since 2015, these people said.

Porsche SE and Volkswagen declined to comment.

The IPO is key for the families as they would once again become a direct shareholder of Porsche AG after the maker of the iconic 911 model was acquired by Volkswagen in 2009, following a failed attempt by Porsche AG to buy Volkswagen in the first place. square.

« The structure of the IPO primarily responds to families’ interest in further tightening their grip on Porsche, and they will not be deterred from this plan, » said Hendrik Schmidt, corporate governance expert at DWS, who owns shares of both Volkswagen and Porsche SE.

The agreed structure of the IPO, which has yet to be confirmed, would give the Porsche and Piech families a blocking minority in the sports car marque which was founded by their ancestor Ferdinand Porsche in 1931.

Manuel Theisen, a retired professor of business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich and a specialist in corporate governance, said it was a way to reclaim some of the influence of families.

« The main reason is power ».

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