BERLIN -- German business publication Manager Magazin, citing company sources, reported Thursday that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is interested in acquiring a stake in Tesla. The company has denied the report.
"Diess would go in right away if he could," the magazine quoted one of Diess' top managers as saying.
The automaker issued a statement calling the report "without merit."
"The speculation about buying a stake in Tesla made by Manager Magazin is without merit," a Volkswagen spokesman said in a written statement to Reuters.
The magazine reported that Diess believes VW could profit from Tesla's competence in the fields of batteries and software. A big obstacle would be to get the consent of Volkswagen's dominating owner families, the Piechs and the Porsches.
A banker close to Volkswagen said Diess would love to have Tesla's software developers but it is almost impossible to justify paying $30 billion to buy the whole company, the report said.