Qatar Doubles Down on Volkswagen

ARCHIV - The silhouette of visitor pictured next to the corporate logo of German car manufacturer Volkswagen at the International Motor Show IAA in Frankfurt/Main, 23 September 2015. Photo: BORIS ROESSLER/dpa (zu dpa "«Dieselgate»: USA setzen VW mit Milliarden-Klage unter Druck" vom 05.01.2016) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Ushering in new rules?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    After the Dieselgate scandal, employee and regional government representatives strengthened their position within the company. Now Qatari investors may be pushing back.

  • Facts


    • Since the Dieselgate scandal broke six months ago, Volkswagen shares have dropped more than 50 percent.
    • Qatari Holdings is the third-largest Volkswagen shareholder, controlling about 15.4 percent of the company.
    • Volkswagen is Europe’s largest industrial company, with a brand portfolio including Audi, Porsche, Saab, Skoda, Lamborghini and MAN trucks.
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  • Pdf


Qatar Holdings, a branch of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and a major investor in Volkswagen, plans to intervene more heavily in the carmaker’s strategy in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions-rigging scandal, Handelsblatt has learned.

According to sources, Qatar, which is VW’s third-largest investor, fears that the works council and the state of Lower Saxony, the latter of which has a 20 percent vote on the company’s board, will prevent real restructuring in the aftermath of the scandal. Chief executive Matthias Müller plans to present a comprehensive new strategy by the summer: it is expected to propose substantial cuts, including job losses and plant closures.

One well-placed insider told Handelsblatt that Qatar Holdings would push hard for this strategy, and was prepared to take on the powerful works council if necessary. This is a new tactic for the Middle East investor, which holds 15.4 percent of VW, but so far has largely favored a soft approach.

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