Germany’s hedge fund Porsche Automobil Holding SE, well known for its implication in the Volkswagen Group and the namesake carmaker, announced it has to pay 428 million euros ($454 million) in tax arrears in 2015.
The payments will most likely make a dent in the company’s net liquidity and force it to cap dividends for the year, said Porsche SE chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch. The tax arrears arose after a tax audit for the 2006-2009 period – back when the hedge fund was mulling to gain control over the giant automaker Volkswagen AG – announced Poetsch during the company’s annual press conference. The needed payment in tax arrears could decrease the company’s net liquidity to a range of 1.7 billion euros to 2.3 billion, compared with 2.27 billion last year, Poetsch added. He also hinted there could be a postponement to the decision of increasing dividend payouts to shareholders for the current year. “This is about complicated circumstances related to hedging operations,” commented the CFO, without providing specific details.
Porsche SE, based out of Stuttgart, has a majority stake in Volkswagen, which in turn has control over the namesake luxury sportscar unit Porsche since 2012. The company was mulling for net income in 2015 between 2.8 billion euros and 3.8 billion, up from 3 billion last year. It also added it was considering upcoming investments in technology businesses, with the carmakers currently aiming to expand their reach and enter the field of software services. “Connectivity between cars and infrastructure is one of the key megatrends in the automotive industry,” said chief executive Martin Winterkorn.