Volkswagen rejects takeover bid from Porsche

Volkswagen is still in full control after sports car maker, Porsche, failed in the public takeover bid of the German car company. Porsche AG said that its offer to buy the shares it does not already own in Volkswagen AG expired with less than 1 percent of the stock offered for sale by investors.

Porsche earlier said that it has no plans to acquire Europe’s biggest automaker outright and has maintained this statement throughout the bidding process. The company offered 65.54 Euros (US$89.42) for each preferred share and 100.92 Euros (US$137.69) per ordinary share. On the other hand, Volkswagen shares rose 1.9 percent to 115.80 Euros (US$155.82), while Porsche shares gained 1 percent to 1,352.53 Euros (US$1,819.92).

“Given that the current stock exchange price is higher than the offer price, the result was as expected,” said Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking. “The completion of the mandatory offer is, amongst others, subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities and is not expected to occur prior to the end of June.”

Porsche lifted its stake in Volkswagen last March to help the company from possible foreign takeovers. The company’s other major shareholder is the German state of Lower Saxony, which holds a 21 percent stake.

Analysts saw the move as a clever strategy for Porsche to increase its decisive power in Volkswagen without being forced to pay over the odds for any additional shares. Experts also suggested that Porsche could be considering that Volkswagen share price would fall in the wake of the announcement, which will let them to buy additional shares at cheaper amounts.

Now that the takeover bid has failed, Porsche is legally free to acquire further shares in Volkswagen until it reaches 50 percent at which point it would have to make another takeover offer.

It was actually earlier this year when Porsche first decided to purchase more Volkswagen stock, with its stake raised to over 30 percent. Under a German law, it was mandatory for the low-volume luxury automaker to launch a bid for all outstanding public shares of Europe’s largest automaker. Usually when one company wants to take over another, they offer a stock buyout price that is equal to or greater than the actual market value. But in Porsche’s case, it only offered 101 Euros even though the stock is trading at about 112 Euros. Volkswagen shareholders then rejected Porsche’s offer because of the low offer price.

Porsche unexpectedly bought shares in Volkswagen back in September 2005, becoming its biggest investor and protecting it from a possible takeover.

It is not surprising that Porsche would gain interests in Volkswagen, for the two automotive company have close relationships even in the past. In fact, Porsche founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was the original Volkswagen designer. The first Porsche cars, like the 1948 Porsche 356, used many Volkswagen components including a tuned engine, gearbox and suspension. Other collaborations were the 1969 and 1970 VW-Porsche 914, the 1976 Porsche 924 and the 2002 Porsche Cayenne.