April 6, 2017 / 6:13 PM / 3 months ago

Ex-VW chairman sells Porsche SE stake to brother: Frankfurter Allgemeine

2 Min Read

File photo: Ferdinand Piech arrives at the annual shareholders meeting in Hanover in this April 25, 2013 file photo.Fabian Bimmer/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) - Former Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) chairman Ferdinand Piech sold the bulk of his stake in the company that controls Europe's biggest carmaker to his younger brother, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

Piech, who dominated Volkswagen (VW) for more than two decades as chief executive and chairman before he resigned in 2015, sold a major part of his 14.7 percent stake in Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), which owns 52.2 percent of voting shares in VW, to Hans Michel Piech, the newspaper reported on Thursday, quoting the acquirer.

Porsche SE said on Monday that the Porsche and Piech clan had agreed to buy the bulk of Ferdinand Piech's stake, without giving details on the redistribution of shares.

The families had a right of first refusal on the shares previously owned by the mastermind of VW's global expansion who turns 80 on April 17.

Hans Michel Piech, a 75-year-old lawyer based in Vienna, now owns 25.1 percent of the family-owned investment firm, Frankfurter Allgemeine reported, giving him a blocking minority on major strategic decisions.

Another 4.3 percent of the Piech stake was passed on to other family members, the newspaper said.

"This was a joint decision by the Porsche and Piech families," Hans Michel Piech was quoted by the newspaper as saying, adding the priority was to ensure that none of the two tribes took sole control over Porsche SE.

Through his law firm, Hans Michel Pieche declined to be interviewed by Reuters.

The enlarged stake of Piech, who previously held 14.7 percent of Porsche SE like his older brother Ferdinand, will raise his clout at the Volkswagen group.

He joined VW group's supervisory board in 2009 after the Wolfsburg-based carmaker had turned the tables on Porsche in the sports-car maker's botched takeover of VW. Besides VW, Hans Michel Piech sits on the controlling panels of both Porsche SE and Porsche AG, the carmaker fully acquired by VW in 2012.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; editing by Susan Thomas

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