Audi has long been associated with Volkswagen. VW first acquired the then Auto Union from Daimler back in 1964. Initially securing a 50% stake in the business, the German auto giant currently holds a 99.64% share, but still does not technically fully own Audi. However, that is all set to change following Audi’s 131st annual general meeting.
The meeting saw a vote on what is called squeeze-out under German stock corporation law, which will result in the transfer all Audi shares owned by remaining shareholders to Volkswagen. Instead of depriving minority shareholders of their stock, VW will pay them €1,551.53 per Audi share ($1,827.7 at today’s exchange rate). The number of shares Volkswagen is expected to buy is over 150,000, which should translate into a total cost for the group of about €230 million ($274 million). According to Markus Duesmann, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG:
“The Volkswagen Group is now consolidating all its strength. We are positioning ourselves competitively throughout the Volkswagen Group and lifting Group synergies and economies of scale to a new level.”
As a result of this, Volkswagen will own 100% of Audi, with Markus Duesmann being moved to the position of Group research and development lead, as well as being responsible for making the new Car.Software organization, which will serve to increase the proportion of in-house software development at the Volkswagen Group from 10% today to 60% by 2025.
For the average Audi buyer, the changes will probably mean nothing. The VW group will continue to see the brand as one of the most important in its portfolio, so we expect Audi to keep raising the bar when it comes to the cars it makes.