Qatar eyes Porsche stake - report

German magazine says Emir interested in stake of debt ridden sports-car maker.
Qatar eyes Porsche stake - report
PORSCHE STAKE: German magazine claims Emir of Qatar is eyeing up German sports car firm. (Getty Images)
By Martin Morris
Sat 25 Apr 2009 11:39 PM

The Emir of Qatar plans to buy a stake in Porsche, possibly shoring up the German sports-car maker's strained finances, a German magazine reported on Saturday.The head of the gulf emirate has informed Porsche of his interest, Focus magazine reported in an excerpt of an article provided to Reuters before publication on Monday, citing unspecified sources.

Porsche declined to comment.

Stuttgart-based Porsche has 3.3 billion euros worth of debt it needs to repay in the next year out of 9 billion euros of debt in total.

A deal with the Emir of Qatar would give the company access to cash it desperately needs to avoid a crunch, the magazine reported. However, the article did not mention how much the Emir hoped to invest in the company, according to English language German journal, The Local.

Porsche took on the mountain of debt to finance a takeover attempt of Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen AG - Europe’s largest carmaker and many times bigger than Porsche.

Last week, media reports said a dramatic change of course was underway and Volkswagen might instead buy Porsche to relieve the smaller company of its debt burden.

Currently, Porsche owns 50 percent of Volkswagen and has said it hopes to raise its stake to 75 percent.

This isn’t the first time a major Middle East investor has made a foray into the German auto market. Last month, Abu Dhabi's state-controlled International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) bought a 9.1 percent stake in Daimler for almost 2 billion euros.

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