Volkswagen Group said it had proposed to buy out minority shareholders in its premium brand Audi, via a so-called squeeze-out offer.
VW Group already holds 99.64 per cent of the registered share capital of Audi AG.
“In the context of reorganizing competencies and responsibilities, Volkswagen AG plans to carry out a squeeze-out according to German stock corporation law in order to acquire the 0.36 per cent of Audi’s shares,” Audi and VW Group said in a news release on Friday.
A resolution on the squeeze-out, in line with German stock corporation law, is to be passed by Audi’s annual meeting. The annual meeting was originally scheduled for May 14 but will now be postponed until July or August.
Audi will take the lead for research and development within VW Group when the brand’s new CEO, Markus Duesmann, takes up the post on April 1, the release said.
Duesmann will be tasked with reviving Audi’s technological prowess after the brand fired several senior engineers for their alleged part in parent VW Group’s diesel emissions-rigging scandal.
Audi was a major r&d hub within VW Group, setting standards in aerodynamic efficiency, lightweight aluminium construction, dual-clutch transmission technology and four-wheel-drive systems.
The brand has struggled after it was discovered that engine management software used to manipulate exhaust emissions tests in VW Grou diesel cars was designed by Audi engineers, leading to the firing of engineering chiefs and its longtime CEO, Rupert Stadler.
Duesmann is an engine development expert and a former head of purchasing at BMW.
Audi’s current CEO, Bram Schot, said in the release that the new structure “will strengthen Audi’s role within the VW Group and recharge Vorsprung Durch Technik.”

Infinity Tyres