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Porsche to sell shares to non-family investors for first time

The complex merger between Porsche and Volkswagen progressed further on Friday when Porsche announced it had secured €7 billion of investment from Qatar Holdings in exchange for a 10% voting stake. This is the first time family-owned Porsche has sold holding shares to anyone outside the Porsche dynasty.

Wolfgang Porsche (pictured), chairman of the Porsche supervisory board, said: "Today is a historic day for us. For the first time in Porsche's history, an external investor has acquired a holding of ordinary shares that so far have been solely owned by the family members of Porsche and Piech."

He added: "This will not only improve Porsche's liquidity situation, but it is also an important step on the predestined road to an integrated automobile company, which we intend to forge together with Volkswagen."

Qatar Holding will also buy a portion of the shares Porsche holds in VW, giving the Gulf-based group a 17% voting stake in VW. Porsche built up a 51% share in VW over four years in an attempted takeover that eventually failed. The onset of the global financial crisis coupled with the money spent on the failed takeover bid pushed Porsche into €10 billion of debt. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

In a dramatic change of fortunes Porsche was then forced to look to VW for help in order to survive. The planned merger between the two companies was first announced in May but has been fraught with family feuding since between Wolfgang Porsche of Porsche and Ferdinand Piech, VW chairman, both grandsons of Porsche's founder. (Click here to see our ongoing coverage of the Porsche/VW merger)

The last week has seen a cooling off of tensions as the two branches of the family attempt to move forward with the merger.

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