Dr Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of the supervisory board at Porsche, has fiercely rejected the ultimatum offered to him by VW at the end of last week. The ultimatum apparently gave Porsche until Monday to accept the proposed merger between the two companies, according to reports in a German magazine Der Spiegel.
However, in a statement issued on Saturday Porsche said: "We are deeply concerned and irritated by the wording of the ultimatum. We will not give in to such pressure or blackmail." He went on: "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."
There has been no confirmation of the ultimatum by either VW or its chairman Ferdinand Piech, himself a member of the Porsche family, but the statement by Porsche confirms one was issued.
This is the latest development in the attempted merger between the two companies that was announced on 6 May 2009; however since then there have been many headlines about family feuds erupting over the deal. In their last official statement, the Porsche family strongly denied there was a rift between the two branches of the family, supposedly caused by the entry of the Qatar Investment Group into the equation.
Porsche built up €9 billion in debt accumulating stocks in VW and attempting to take over the company in the four years previous to the merger's publication. Since the 6 May announcement Porsche has twice had to publicly deny rumours of a rift between the Porsche and Piech families, and the deal has still not been closed.
The Qatar Investment Group stepped in offering financing for the indebted Porsche in exchange for a 25% stake in early June, although reports suggest the QIG will only invest in Porsche after the merger with VW is completed.