The European Commission's green light to Porsche SE to acquire Volkswagen AG will not impact the two companies' operations in China, analysts said.
The EC on Wednesday said it had cleared the proposed acquisition, saying it wouldn't harm competition. The decision allows Porsche, maker of 911 sports cars, to add 4.9 percent to its existing 31 percent holding through a share purchase agreement, giving it "de facto" control of Volkswagen, Bloomberg reported.
"Overlaps between Volkswagen and Porsche are limited," the Brussels-based commission said.
Sun Jie, PR manager of Porsche China, said the company's regional headquarters in Shanghai "has not received any statements on the issue from Stuttgart".
Sun said: "The acquisition will add Volkswagen AG to Porsche Automobile Holding SE, which is responsible for the stock of the operating subsidiaries, including carmaker Porsche AG. The new structure ensures Porsche's purpose of separating holding and operating activities, just as our vice-president said at the Beijing Auto Show in May. Porsche and Volkswagen will go their own ways worldwide and in China."
Volkswagen Group China also said it had not received any official communication from the headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, and refused to comment on the acquisition.
"The acquisition won't affect the two companies in ways other than stake holdings. Porsche's intention is to profit from a healthy Volkswagen as an investment project," said Zhong Shi, an independent auto analyst.
"Without horizontal overlapping of products, Volkswagen and Porsche will develop in China individually, although Volkswagen has spread a nationwide distribution network and set up manufacturing facilities while Porsche has only established sales branches here," said Dong Jianhua, an analyst with Southwest Securities.
While Volkswagen is active in a wide range of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, Porsche is focusing on sports cars and SUVs.
Volkswagen Group, which includes brands such as Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti, sold 531,612 units in China in the first half of this year, 23 percent higher than the same period last year. Porsche sold 4,179 sports cars and SUVs last year in the country, double the figure in 2006.
(China Daily July 25, 2008)