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Carmaking dynasty tightens grip on the wheel of Porsche

The Piech and Porsche families, descendents of the founders of the eponymous carmaker, have reasserted their control over Porsche's holding company.

The Piech and Porsche families, descendents of the founders of the eponymous carmaker, have reasserted their control over Porsche's holding company.

On 17 June the families reached an agreement with Qatar Holding – the investment division of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund – to buyback the 10% voting stake in Porsche SE that was sold in 2009. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

The Piech and Porsche families were forced to sell a chunk of Porsche SE after a doomed plan to take over Volkswagen tipped Porsche into dangerously high levels of debt.

The failed takeover bid in 2009 was followed by an attempt to merge the two companies in 2011, which was scuppered by legal disputes. Porsche's core carmaking business was finally merged into Volkswagen in August 2012.

Dr Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of the Porsche SE board, said the deal was "an expression of our confidence in the prosperous future of Porsche SE as the largest shareholder of Volkswagen".

The Pieche and Porsche families own 51% of Volkswagen's common stock but Qatar Holding has not left the scene and will remain the third-largest shareholder of the new-look Volkswagen Group with a 17% stake.

Ahmad Al-Sayed, chief executive of Qatar Holding, said in a statement: "We believe that Volkswagen represents a unique investment and we are pleased to have played an integral role in bringing Volkswagen and Porsche AG together."

Ferdinand Porsche founded Porsche in the 1930s but operations were suspended during the Second World War. Ferdinand restarted the brand in 1949 with the help of his son-in-law Anton Piech.  

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