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August 31, 2009

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Auto workers eye 5% stake

THE roughly 370,000 employees of Volkswagen and Porsche are striving initially to acquire a stake of up to 5 percent in the automotive group, VW's labor chief told a German newspaper.

"I don't know how much we will end up with. It certainly won't be 10 percent overnight, but between one and five percent to begin with," Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted Bernd Osterloh last Saturday as saying.

It was not clear yet how the employees would finance the purchase of their stake, the paper said.

Volkswagen - Europe's biggest car maker - agreed to buy a 42 percent stake in the sports car unit of debt-ridden Porsche SE earlier this month. It will pay up to 3.3 billion euros (US$4.7 billion) this year for the initial stake in the unit, Porsche AG, paving the way for the creation of an "integrated" automotive group by the end of 2011.

To fund the purchase, Volkswagen plans a capital increase of preference shares in the first half of next year.


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