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More bidders interested in Porsche VW stake

Date: Monday, July 6, 2009
Author: Edward Taylor, Reuters

Five more potential bidders have emerged for a Porsche-owned derivatives package which controls Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) shares, Porsche (PSHG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) told German paper Handelsblatt.

"We are in exclusive talks with Qatar about an investment in Porsche SE, but we have five further interested parties for our options package in VW," a Porsche spokesman was quoted as saying.

Handelsblatt said there were also investors from China, Russia as well as a hedge fund interested in investing in Porsche, without citing sources.

Porsche was not immediately available to comment on Monday.

Separately, German daily Financial Times Deutschland said some of the banks in a consortium that gave Porsche a 10.75 billion euro loan earlier this year are demanding that Porsche's owner families bolster the sportscar maker's finances by integrating separately owned, Austria-based wholesale company Porsche Holding GmbH into Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Porsche, which owns 51 percent of Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), is seeking an outside investor after amassing 9 billion euros

($12.6 billion) in debt during a bungled attempt to dominate VW.

Porsche said last week that Qatar had made an offer to the controlling Porsche and Piech families that could help reduce the mountain of debt at their wholly owned automotive holding Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research). [nLT10323]

Sources told Reuters on Friday the owners were set to discuss an investment by Qatar in the next two weeks and a decision may come even before a Volkswagen supervisory board meeting on July 15. [nL3709678]

German magazine Spiegel reported Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking had warned the owning families against selling Porsche AG to VW.

Porsche had earlier dismissed as unworkable any deal which involved a partial sale of its sports car business to VW, noting that it would enable banks to immediately call the syndicated loan they awarded Porsche in March.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Erica Billingham)

((edward.taylor@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1187; Reuters Messaging: eva.kuehen.reuters.com@reuters.net))

($1=.7133 EURO)