Porsche Plans To Increase VW Stake

Volkswagen's biggest shareholder said on Sunday that it had lifted its stake to 42.6 percent and plans to increase it to 75 percent by 2009.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Shares of Volkswagen AG soared nearly 80 percent on Monday, bolstered by Porsche's announcement of plans to lift its stake in the automaker to 75 percent by 2009.

Porsche Automobil Holding SE was already Volkswagen's biggest shareholder and said on Sunday that it had lifted its stake to 42.6 percent.

"The goal remains, as long as the financial conditions are right, to increase (the stake) to 75 percent in 2009 and clear the way for a controlling stake," the Stuttgart-based company said.

As part of that goal, Porsche said it was sticking to plans to lift its VW stake above the 50 percent mark before the year's end.

Porsche has slowly been increasing its stake in VW, which enjoys a special status in Germany under a law that allows the state of Lower Saxony, where Volkswagen is based, a blocking minority right although it holds a stake of just over 20 percent.

The European Union has sought to overturn that law, which effectively protects the automaker from being taken over.

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