Block Volkswagen's dividend plans, Pirc tells the carmaker's shareholders

Josh Martin
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Volkswagen Continues To Struggle With Emissions Cheating Consequences
VW continues to struggle with emissions scandal consequences (Source: Getty)

Investor advisory firm Pirc has advised shareholders in Volkswagen to reject its dividend plans.

The body said the carmaker did not address "key weaknesses" within its governance structure including the "overlap of major shareholders and controlling functions, a remuneration structure excessively linked to sales, the absence of a whistle blowing system and an apparently inefficient internal audit system".

A decision on whether to block Volkswagen's plans to pay a dividend is expected to be taken at its board meeting on Monday.

Members of the VW's parent company Porsche SE, which controls 52 per cent of the carmaker's voting shares, have spoken out against proposals to pay dividends amid the emissions scandal. Porsche SE is also a holding company for the Porsche and Piech families.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that "one of the four family members on VW's 20-member supervisory board" warned at a board meeting in April that the "Porsche-Piech clan would use its voting power at the 22 June shareholder meeting to block a dividend payment".

Read more: Volkswagen emissions scandal: 800,000 vehicles to be recalled

This is not expected to go down well with other VW shareholders who were already in line for a much lower dividend for 2015 than in previous years.

In April, VW proposed a 2015 dividend of 0.11 euros per ordinary share and 0.17 euros per preferred share, down from 4.80 euros and 4.86 euros respectively for 2014.

The news comes as the company is on a cost-cutting drive after admitting in September last year to cheating US diesel emissions tests. VW would have to stump up as much as $18bn to cover the cost of vehicle refits and a settlement with US authorities.

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