German carmaker Volkswagen Ag plans to integrate sportscar maker Porsche as soon as possible, its CFO said Tuesday, also signalling that media reports of a tax-exempt way to soon complete the transaction were exaggerated.
“We aim to complete the integrated automotive group as quickly as possible,” Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch told journalists on the sidelines of a ceremony at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany on Tuesday.
Last week German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported that the German giant found a way to complete the merger with Porsche AG without paying any taxes (1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in tax).
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.
Porsche SE had previously said it would have to wait until August 2014 to sell the remaining stake tax-free.
“A swifter solution (than 2014) should be in the interest of the tax authorities,” Poetsch said on Tuesday.
VW abandoned the merger last September citing unquantifiable legal risks, including lawsuits by short sellers in the United States who claim that Porsche secretly piled up VW shares and later caused investors to lose more than $1 billion.