Porsche, Volkswagen Leaders Meet

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- Top managers at Porsche SE and Volkswagen AG will meet for talks on a joint future for the automakers a day after their companies put aside a weekend spat, Porsche said Wednesday.

Porsche spokesman Albrecht Bamler said the top managers would decide on a course of action so that negotiations could proceed in a "constructive and purposeful" manner.

He also said that both sides had agreed to accept an investor for the luxury sports car maker, but refused to give any further details.

Bamler declined to say when the meeting would take place, but said Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and chief financial officer Holger Haerter would be joined by VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn and its head of finance for Europe, Hans Dieter Poetsch.

The move comes after VW board chairman Ferdinand Piech and Porsche counterpart Wolfgang Porsche announced Tuesday in a joint statement that the companies would return to negotiations on the integration.

Volkswagen -- Europe's biggest automaker by sales -- had halted the talks on combining forces with Porsche over the weekend, citing lack of clarity about finances.

Porsche had confirmed earlier that it was looking for an outside investor, reportedly to help it pay off debt racked up while amassing a majority stake in Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen last year.

Neither company has commented on media reports the potential investor could come from the United Arab Emirates or Qatar.

Porsche now holds about 51 percent of VW. In terms of shareholder ownership, the companies are therefore already combined, though a closer integration is expected to infringe more on Porsche independence as it seeks a financial lifeline.

Stuttgart-based Porsche announced earlier this month it wanted to form an integrated company with VW, in effect merging the two car makers.

Porsche shares were up more than 1 percent to euro42.34 in Frankfurt trading Wednesday, while VW shares were up 1.25 percent to euro221.30.

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