Porsche told to end row over its future

City A.M. Reporter
LOWER Saxony, Volkswagen&rsquo;s second-largest shareholder, again pushed Volkswagen (VW) and Porsche to break a deadlock in merger talks yesterday as the two German carmakers squabbled over a deal.<br /><br />Disagreements among Porsche&rsquo;s owning families and questions about preconditions for an investment by Middle Eastern Kingdom Qatar have held up progress toward creating a combined company, people close to the negotiations said.<br /><br />&ldquo;We need to clarify now whether each will go his own way or whether there is a common solution,&rdquo; said Christian Wulff, premier of the German state of Lower Saxony.<br /><br />Wulff said he felt a &ldquo;certain irritation&rdquo; after Porsche accused Volkswagen and Lower Saxony, which owns a blocking minority in Europe&rsquo;s biggest carmaker, of holding a gun to its head to agree a deal quickly.<br /><br />&ldquo;Apparently not all facts are known to everyone,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />Volkswagen and Lower Saxony have denied making any ultimatum which Porsche chairman Wolfgang Porsche and his deputy Uwe Hueck said in a joint statement on Saturday was &ldquo;detrimental to the entire cause&rdquo;.<br /><br />Porsche said a document containing &ldquo;deadlines&rdquo; was sent to Wolfgang Porsche last week.<br /><br />Porsche dismissed as unworkable any deal which involved a partial sale of its sports car business to Volkswagen, noting this would let banks call immediately a &euro;10.75bn (&pound;9.14bn) syndicated loan they awarded Porsche in March.<br /><br />Porsche and Volkswagen have been in talks to create an &ldquo;intergrated&rdquo; automotive group after Porsche&rsquo;s &euro;9bn (&pound;7.7bn) debt burden forced it to drop plans for a full takeover of VW.