Qatar May Buy VW or Porsche Stake

The Gulf state of Qatar is considering buying a big stake in either Volkswagen or its majority owner Porsche, the BBC reported. VW said in a statement that it would welcome the investment because it would speed up its merger with Porsche. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is in advanced talks about buying up to 25% of Porsche, according to a report in the Financial Times. Porsche owns more than 50% of VW, but suspended attempts to buy a controlling stake of 75% when it ran out of money. Porsche took on €9 billion ($12.2 billion; £8 billion) of debt to increase its stake in VW, but that debt is now creating tension between the two companies. Had Porsche succeeded in controlling VW, it could have used the larger company's financial muscle to refinance its debt, but having failed to do so, it has been forced to apply to the German government for an emergency €1.75 billion emergency loan. VW and Porsche own stakes in each other through a complicated family history that unites the two carmakers and the German state of Lower Saxony, which holds a 20% stake in VW and can block strategic decisions under the "VW law". Read more.