Volkswagen AG will announce in two days the initial findings of its internal inquiry over the biggest crisis in the company’s history.
After almost three months since the bomb dropped on the emissions scandal, Volkswagen will announce on Thursday the first report of its internal investigation. Everybody is expecting at least some answers to explain how it was possible to put into motion the cheating scheme. The upcoming briefing comes after VW’s top bosses, Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller included, visited Qatar for a meeting with the carmaker’s third-largest shareholder. The last weekend encounter with Qatar Holdings LLC, the only major shareholder not from Germany, means that Volkswagen has now some plausible explanations. “We believe Thursday will provide the first significant watershed” on the scandal, with details about recalls, the investigation and strategic shifts expected, Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with Evercore ISI, said in a note. Greater transparency “will be a positive trigger for the stock.” The Qatar trip by Volkswagen executives was “a normal introductory visit by the new management to one of the company’s most important partners,” said Eric Felber, a spokesman for the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company.
However, it is highly unlikely the meeting was just “a normal introductory” as the company is expecting at least 8.7 billion euros in recall costs and damages from the scandal, not including potential fines and lawsuits. Furthermore, sources have revealed that Volkswagen signed a 20 billion-euro bridge financing deal with about 13 banks last week. Under the terms of the agreement, the company assured the lenders it would sell or list assets worth up to significantly more than 20 billion euros if it fails to find other sources of money, people familiar with the matter added. It is presumed that the “company’s most important partners” are quite interested about the matter.