BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG's planned merger with Porsche SE will probably be delayed into next year because of legal and financial obstacles. In manufacturing, the integration is already in full swing.
Porsche said a longer-than-expected probe into allegations of share-price manipulation by two former board members will likely push completion of the merger into 2012. While the probability of success decreases as the process drags out, Porsche said on Wednesday it believes the combination will go ahead.
Volkswagen already said last year that the combination may be held up by U.S. lawsuits and German tax disputes. As the two companies work to resolve those issues, they are forging ahead with the merger on the factory floor.
A VW plant in Osnabrueck, Germany, will build Porsche Boxster and Cayman models, plant director Ludger Teeken said in an interview this week. VW already assembles the bodies for Porsche's Cayenne sport-utility vehicle and four-door Panamera at VW plants.
"Volkswagen is moving forward to fit Porsche into its structure," said Stipo Bralo, a Frankfurt-based analyst at SEB AG. "The merger is fully underway in operating terms."
Stuttgart-based Porsche and VW, whose headquarters are in Wolfsburg, Germany, agreed to combine in August 2009 following a failed attempt by the sports-car maker to take over its larger rival.
Porsche shareholders voted in favor of a 5 billion-euro ($6.9 billion) share sale that would facilitate a merger by lowering debt piled up as part of its earlier takeover attempt.