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VW takes larger than predicted stake in Porsche

Volkswagen, the family-controlled car manufacturer, announced last night it has upped its stake in family-owned Porsche.
 
VW said it had agreed with Porsche to now take a 49.9% stake in the sports car business for €3.9 billion, as opposed to the 42% for €3.3 billion announced in August. (Click here to read our coverage of the story) "The projects identified for a closer cooperation have been making swifter progress than initially anticipated," VW said in a statement.
 
"This is a positive step for both companies. Volkswagen is thus securing a higher share of the increase in the value of Porsche expected from the joint projects at an early stage," it continued.
 
The merger was first announced in May, but has been dogged by setbacks due to family disagreements. (Click here to read our ongoing coverage) This latest move is the first step towards the final merger of the two companies, which is expected to be concluded by 2011.
 
Porsche and VW are headed by rival branches of the same family; Porsche is lead by Wolfgang Porsche and VW by Ferdinand Piech (pictured), both grandsons of Porsche's founder. Porsche originally envisioned his smaller company could takeover VW and so began building shares in his cousin's business. However, this drove Porsche into €10 billion of debt and left the smaller company in need of financial help from VW to save the family business.

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