Volkswagen is to acquire the operating business of Porsche Holding Salzburg in an agreement worth EUR3.3bn (US$4.5bn) with the deal expected during the first half of 2011 but no later than 30 September next year.

The sale of the automobile trading company was already foreseen in the comprehensive agreement concluded last year, says VW.

"Porsche Holding Salzburg (PHS) is a highly profitable and efficient automobile trade company," said VW CEO Martin Winterkorn.

"PHS will retain its status as a single organisational unit with its successful business model as well as all assets and all brands. At the same time we will be significantly strengthening our own trade activities in major markets and regions."

PHS has presence in Austria, Western Europe and South East Europe as well as China. In the 2009/10 financial year to 31 March, unit sales of 421,000 new vehicles generated sales revenue of EUR12.2bn.

PHS has 20,300 employees.