MUNICH -- Volkswagen denied on Sunday that it had presented Porsche Automobil Holding SE with an ultimatum to accept its layout for a merger of the two carmakers.
On Saturday, Porsche accused VW and the German state of Lower Saxony of extortion following a report that VW has demanded that Porsche accept a tie-up of the two carmakers with VW in charge. Lower Saxony is VW's second largest shareholder after Porsche.
"There is no ultimatum," a VW spokesman said on Sunday. He would not comment further.
Germany's Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that VW had given Porsche a Monday deadline to agree that VW take a 49 percent stake in Porsche's sports car business.
The magazine said VW would ask Porsche to pay back a 700 million euro ($983.8 million) loan in September unless Porsche agreed to VW's demand.
Porsche Chairman Wolfgang Porsche and his supervisory board deputy, Uwe Hueck, said in a statement on Saturday they had been given an ultimatum by VW and Lower Saxony and that they would "not accept extortion.”
Der Spiegel said Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and Wolfgang Porsche have been pressed to agree that VW takes a 49 percent stake in Porsche's sports car business for 3 billion to 4 billion euros ($4.2 billion to $5.6 billion).
According to the proposal, the Emirate of Qatar would buy Porsche's stock options in VW, which would subsequently integrate the Porsche sports car business into its operations.
Porsche owns 51 percent of Volkswagen and has stock options for a further 25 percent. The company amassed 9 billion euros ($12.7 billion) debt trying to swallow Volkswagen before the financial crisis threw it off course.
Der Spiegel reported that under the proposal the merged carmaker would eventually be 40 percent owned by the Porsche and Piech families, 20 percent by Lower Saxony, 15 percent by Qatar, and another sovereign wealth fund would hold 5 percent.
In the statement, Wolfgang Porsche also said: “We are deeply concerned and irritated by the wording of the ultimatum. … The 21st century is not the time for ultimatums. We wonder what the whole matter is really about and whether the focus is still on our common cause at all.”
On Friday, Porsche said it was close to reaching a deal with Qatar that could help solve its financial problems.
"The negotiations have entered the final stretch," a spokesman for Porsche said, adding Qatar had finished examining its books. "The due diligence has reached a positive conclusion."