In late July Porsche announced Wendelin Wiedeking would be leaving his position as the company's CEO to be replaced by Michael Macht, clearing the way for the supervisory board at Volkswagen to lay the foundation for an integrated company with Porsche under Volkswagen leadership.

Today, a further milestone has been reached on the way towards the integrated automotive group with Porsche with Volkswagen buying a 49.9% stake in the famous sports car manufacturer for $5.78 billion. The completed merger of the companies is still scheduled to take place during the course of 2011.

The combination of the two companies follows a compelling strategic, industrial and financial logic. For Volkswagen, Porsche ideally complements the brand portfolio by expanding it with a premium business that offers particularly strong earnings. In turn, as an independent brand under Volkswagen umbrella, Porsche will have the potential for significant additional growth.

For worried Porsche fans, Volkswagen has stated that it remains committed to the phased integration of the two companies and to preserve the independence and the interests of Porsche.

[Volkswagen]