Qatar buys first shares in Volkswagen

Qatar has bought a 6.78 percent stake in Germany's Volkswagen in the first step of a plan to take over around 17% of the carmaker. The investment by the Gulf state will total seven billion euros and make it Volkswagen's third biggest shareholder.


AFP - The Gulf state of Qatar has taken a 6.78-percent stake in Europe's biggest carmaker Volkswagen as part of a plan to take over around 17 percent of the company, Volkswagen said on Friday.

Qatar's investment will total some seven billion euros (10 billion dollars) and the country will become the third biggest shareholder in Volkswagen behind the Porsche and Piech families and the German state of Lower Saxony.

The agreement is part of a broader deal hammered out this month to merge Volkswagen with luxury sportscar maker Porsche, which incurred heavy debts in a recent failed bid to take over its far bigger rival Volkswagen.

Volkswagen shares were down 1.54 percent at 136.82 euros on the Frankfurt stock market at 1400 GMT. The company's shares have fallen by 40 percent since August 13 when the Volkswagen-Porsche merger deal was announced.

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