Porsche to avoid taxes in VW deal image

Volkswagen AG said Saturday it may be able to complete the merger with Porsche AG without paying any taxes, Wirtschaftswoche reported, without saying how it got the information.

“The evaluation hasn’t been finalized yet. As soon as we have the necessary clarity we’ll inform about it in due course,” Volkswagen said in a statement. The management of Volkswagen controls both Europe’s largest auto maker by sales and Porsche’s holding firm.

The magazine said tax authorities had concluded the deal was legally a restructuring and not a disposal that would involve tax payments.

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 changeng hands, the transaction would be a company restructuring, not a sale, the report said.

The deal would be based on a plan drafted in August 2009 after Volkswagen’s labour unions in a joint effort with the company’s management successfully averted a takeover launched by Porsche’s former chief executive, Wendelin Wiedeking, and former chief financial officer, Holger Haerter.