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VW skeptical regarding LeasePlan

Wolfsburg. There are disagreements within Volkwagen AG over the group's plan to take a stake in the LeasePlan Corporation.

VW group boss Bernd Pischetsrieder announced the purchase of a 50 percent share in the fleet management company at the VW general meeting last week.

The other half of the ownership of LeasePlan will be shared between the sheikdom of Abu Dhabi and a group of private investors.

"Fifty percent plus one share would be better for VW," a member of the supervisory board told Automobilwoche. "Then we would have effective control."

If this were the case, VW would need to consolidate 100 percent of LeasePlan's results. This would mean that the financial services operations of VW would have a greater impact on the company's overall results. VW's management board, concerned about the impression this would make, wants to avoid this.

"We had a lot of trouble as a result of the 50:50 share in Europcar in 1995," the supervisory board member warned.

VW halted a first attempt to take over LeasePlan back in 2001 out of concern for the group's equity-to-assets ratio.

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