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Porsche family member retires from board of family company

Hans Peter Porsche, third-generation family member of the founding Porsche family, retired from the supervisory board of the family business on Friday.

He is to be replaced by Sheikh Jassim Bin Abdulaziz Bin Jassim Al-Thani, a representative of Qatar Holdings, the Doha-based investment company that owns a 10% stake in Porsche. 

Four members of the Porsche family still sit on the board, including chairman Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand Piech, Porsche's cousin and head of Volkswagen. 

Qatar Holdings first expressed an interest in Porsche in the summer of 2009, when the family-controlled carmaker was struggling under the weight of nearly €10 billion debt.

The deal was finalised in August and saw Qatar Holdings invest €7 billion in Porsche in exchange for a 10% voting share of the business. This was the first time the family company had sold shares to anyone outside the Porsche dynasty. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

Porsche built up its massive debt attempting to takeover the much larger Volkswagen, which is headed by a rival branch of the founding Porsche family. Porsche acquired a 51% share in VW over four years but the takeover bid eventually failed. The onset of the global financial crisis coupled with the money spent on the failed takeover bid pushed Porsche into €10 billion of debt. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

The failed merger left Porsche and its family head, Wolfgang Porsche, needing VW's help to survive. The two companies are now in the middle of a complex merger that saw VW take a 49.9% stake in Porsche in October 2009. (Click here to read our coverage of the story) The move was the first step in the merger that is expected to be concluded by 2011. 

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