Daimler Makes Play For Porsche

June 22, 2009
Dieter Zetsche

Dieter Zetsche

German automaker Daimler AG (headed by Dieter Zetsche at left) is reportedly in talks to purchase a chunk of crosstown rival Porsche SE. That would open the door to some very interesting possibilities should the rumors prove to be true--though at the moment, both companies have shrugged off the gossip. A Daimler rep called the gab "pure speculation" and a Porsche spokesperson claimed not to know anything about such discussions. Which is, thankfully for us, not the same as denying that talks have taken place.

No additional details of the deal have emerged, but even without price tags and percentages, we know that the arrangement could make for some intriguing developments:

  • If it takes the form of a large cash deal, that infusion would ease the financial burden on Porsche, which has been floundering since the global economy went into freefall. (Porsche has asked the German government for bailout assistance, but so far, no dice.)
  • The deal could potentially give Porsche the capital it needs to buy up additional stock in Volkswagen, rather than bending to the partnership arrangement that's currently in the works. (Not likely, but it's a possibility.)
  • The arrangement would increase the technology base of both companies--though perhaps not as much as Daimler's more interesting and slightly outside-the-box co-mingling with Tesla.
  • Since Daimler is now partially owned by a group from the UAE, and Porsche is working on a deal to sell a slice of itself to investors from Dubai, this would give investors in the Middle East their biggest stake so far in the consumer automotive market.

Even though sales of luxury automobiles have been down across the board, we know that Daimler has cash to go around--otherwise the company wouldn't have been able to reel in that aforementioned chunk of Tesla. But Daimler's ultimate purpose in taking a slice of  Porsche's pie is, like the deal itself, pure speculation at the moment. Feel free to speculate all you like by email or in the comments below.

[Reuters via Autocar]

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