Porsche denies report more bidders for VW package

FRANKFURT Mon Jul 6, 2009 6:49am EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Porsche on Monday denied a newspaper report which said five more potential bidders have emerged for a Porsche-owned derivatives package which controls around 20 percent of Volkswagen voting shares.

A Porsche spokesman said exclusive talks continued with Qatar about a potential investment in Porsche and over the sale of the derivatives package controlling VW shares.

The spokesman denied a report in German daily Handelsblatt which quoted a Porsche spokesman as saying the sportscar maker was in exclusive talks with Qatar about an investment in Porsche SE but adding there were "five further interested parties for our options package in VW."

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

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 in Volkswagen, 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. Sources had 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.

German magazine Spiegel reported Porsche CEO 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 trigger banks to recall immediately the syndicated loan they awarded Porsche in March.

($1=.7133 EURO)

(Reporting by Hendrik Sackmann and Edward Taylor; editing by Simon Jessop)

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