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Holding company looks to energy, ahead of proposed Porsche sale

The families behind Porsche SE are considering branching away from the car industry, as plans to combine automakers Porsche and Volkswagen gain momentum.

The families behind Porsche SE are considering branching away from the car industry, as plans to combine automakers Porsche and Volkswagen gain momentum.

At Porsche SE’s annual general meeting on 25 June, the Porsche and Piech families, which control 90% the holding company’s common shares, voted unanimously to change the business’s charter.

The move means the holding company can invest in new business fields, such as energy, real estate and materials for the auto industry.

Without the change, Porsche SE would have been limited to managing its 50.7% of Volkswagen common shares once the integration of carmaker Porsche with VW finally goes ahead.

Speaking at the meeting, Martin Winterkorn, the chief executive of both VW and Porsche SE, said that by 2014, he hoped to complete the acquisition of the 50.1% Porsche shares that VW doesn’t already own.

Both carmakers are “excellently positioned for a successful future together”, he said, adding that the creation of an integrated group would allow Volkswagen and Porsche to “strengthen their competitive position once more”.

"We want to complete the integrated automotive group at economically viable conditions and as quickly as possible," Winterkorn said.

The companies first agreed to merge in 2009, but this was called off last year because of legal issues. However, since then, the companies have been searching for another solution – with the sale of Porsche to VW looking most likely.

However, Porsche currently faces lawsuits in the US and in Europe from shareholders claiming they were misled over the merger. A legal hearing is currently taking place in Germany.  

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