Volkswagen AG (VOW) and Porsche AG may be able to complete their planned integration after German officials ruled the deal wouldn’t face taxes, Wirtschaftswoche reported, without saying how it got the information.
Volkswagen cleared an important hurdle toward possibly buying the 50.1 percent of the 911 sports-car maker it doesn’t already own with the decision by tax authorities in the Baden- Wuerttemberg state, where Porsche is based, the German weekly said on its website today.
The plan involves VW transferring 4.5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) and one voting share to Porsche SE, Wirtschaftswoche said. Baden-Wuerttemberg officials ruled that because a share is changing hands, the transaction would be a company restructuring, not a sale, the report said.
It’s “quite plausible” that such a transaction wouldn’t be taxable, Frank Kupferschmidt, a spokesman for the Baden- Wuerttemberg Finance Ministry in Stuttgart, said by phone. He declined to comment on specifics of the case, citing the confidentiality of business transactions.
“We are examining the possibilities of an integration,” Wolfgang Glabus, a spokesman for Porsche SE, the holding company that controls both carmakers, said in a telephone interview. “That examination isn’t completed yet.” He declined to comment on specifics of the magazine report.
Marco Dalan, a Volkswagen spokesman, declined to comment on the report.
The two companies agreed to combine in 2009 after Porsche racked up more than 10 billion euros of debt in an unsuccessful attempt to take over Volkswagen. VW began exploring alternatives for an integration after scrapping plans last year to merge with the holding company because of legal tangles.
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