Volkswagen CEO Eschewing Purchases to Focus on Integration

Volkswagen AG (VOW) Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said he’s not planning additional purchases as Europe’s largest carmaker focuses on integrating Porsche, Ducati motorbikes and heavy-truck maker MAN SE. (MAN)

“We have enough to do at the moment in taking our twelve brands to where we want to be,” the CEO said in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt. VW confirmed his comments.

Volkswagen earlier this month completed the 4.49 billion- euro ($5.62 billion) purchase of the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche that it didn’t own. The deal added the 12th brand to VW’s portfolio after buying Ducati in Italy in July and raising its stake in Munich-based MAN to 75 percent in June. VW is not currently interested in bidding for Malaysian carmaker Proton, Winterkorn said today.

“We need to grow in Southeast Asia,” he said. “But that does not mean that we will buy Malaysia’s Proton, like some are speculating.”

Volkswagen advanced as much as 85 cents, or 0.6 percent, to 139.95 euros and was up 0.4 percent as of 10:30 a.m. in Frankfurt trading. The stock has climbed 21 percent this year, valuing the automaker at 62 billion euros.

Winterkorn said he still finds Fiat SpA (F)’s Alfa Romeo an attractive brand. At the Paris Motor Show two years ago Ferdinand Piech, head of VW’s supervisory board, said he wanted to acquire Alfa Romeo.

“That I find Alfa Romeo an interesting brand is not a secret,” Winterkorn said. “But we are currently busy enough with our brands.”

Integration

Porsche, which is already using parts and technology from the VW group, still needs to adapt its working processes to deepen cooperation with VW’s other brands, said Michael Punzet, analyst at DZ Bank in Frankfurt. VW may seek a domination agreement to gain greater control at MAN and needs to plan the cooperation with Scania AB (SCVB), which VW also controls, he said.

“If VW gets offered Alfa Romeo or Proton for a cheap price, they would not decline,” Punzet said. “But at the moment I guess they are really focusing on integrating Porsche AG and consolidating the truckmakers MAN and Scania.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Wuestner in Berlin at cwuestner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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