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Porsche to buy 25.1% of carbon-fiber partmaker Capricorn

News International-French

11 Mar 2015

Volkswagen AG’s Porsche division plans to buy a 25 percent stake in a German auto-parts and carbon-fiber producer, widening access to the lightweight material used in its top-end sports cars.

Porsche AG and Capricorn Composite GmbH, a supplier of components for the LMP1 and 918 Spyder models, are targeting completion of the deal in about two weeks after signing an agreement on Monday, the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker said in a statement.

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, already owns just under 10 percent of the shares in larger Capricorn competitor SGL Carbon SE. An expansion of that holding is potentially blocked as BMW AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, and Susanne Klatten, a member of BMW’s controlling family, together control almost half of SGL’s stock. VW has said it’s not seeking to add to the SGL stake.

Other divisions of Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen that use carbon fiber include Audi, which competes with BMW in luxury-auto sales and produces components with the material, and supercar maker Lamborghini, which uses it in auto bodies. Munich-based BMW has a joint venture with SGL to produce carbon fiber, and the automaker’s battery-powered i3 city car is the first mass-produced model with an all-composite body.

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