GERMANY: VW may reduce rights issue
Volkswagen may not issue the full amount of new preference stock allowed by shareholders, chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch told analysts.
He said the capital hike would be tailored to what was necessary. This followed a VW announcement that it was looking to overtake Toyota as the world's top carmaker by 2018.
Shareholders agreed in December to let VW issue up to 135m shares by December 2014, fuelling talk the German group was ready to buy another company.
A full issue would be worth more than EUR8 bn (USD11.2 bn) at current market prices but analysts say it would probably have to be priced at a discount.
Poetsch said the rights issue was necessary for Volkswagen to maintain a comfortable level of net liquidity, which stood at EUR13.4bn ($18.6bn) at the end of September.
The carmaker needs money to help finance acquisitions it already made - a 49.9% stake in Porsche to be followed by full integration with parent Porsche SE next year, and a 19.9% stake in Suzuki.
Added to these, Poetsch said that tough markets in the fourth quarter tied up another EUR1bn ($1.4bn) in liquidity.
He added: "With the remaining liquidity we would come close to a point not in line with our strategy, a point that would limit our scope for strategic developments."
Analysts said the issue could be spread over two tranches with the second one used to promote plans for a trucks alliance with VW Swedish unit Scania and Germany's MAN.
There has been market speculation that VW could soon take over MAN - in which it already has nearly 30%.