The road to any marriage, especially one between Porsche and Volkswagen, is paved with sharp thorns. One such thorn is reportedly a possible tax liability of €3 billion which would most certainly kill the deal.
The real-life drama involving Porsche and Volkswagen has taken a new turn as reports out of Germany suggest that the deal could be scuppered by certain tax liabilities. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which is published in Munich, says it has it on good authority that a tax bill of €3 billion would be attached to a VW/Porsche transaction.
Amid that uncertainty is another allegation that Porsche's debt, currently estimated at €14 billion, could be reduced by firing CEO Dr Wendelin Wiedeking and selling the sports car unit to VW. The allegation is said to have come from shareholder Ferdinand Piech who is said to be in a tussle for the control of both companies with the Porsche family. The two families are related.
Yet another story goes that Wiedeking has already negotiated himself a €100 million severance package and that his successor has been found. Porsche spokespeople deny that the company's debt is that high, that there is a conspiracy to remove its CEO and that there is even a severance package offer on the table.
As it stands a meeting between the two controlling families is scheduled to take place on Thursday where sources say a deal will be struck for Volkswagen AG to pay €8 billion for Porsche AG. At the same time Porsche is discussing a possible tie-up with the state of Qatar which would see the company selling off about 20% of its shareholding to the Arab emirate.