Volkswagen AG agreed to buy the 50.1 percent stake in the Porsche SE automotive business that it doesn’t already own for $5.6 billion (4.46 billion euros) and fully fold the sports-car maker into VW’s stable of auto brands. Click below to read the rest of the story.

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The merger plan allows for a combination of the automotive businesses in August, two years earlier than would have been “economically feasible” under a put-and-call option provided for in a deal reached in 2009, Volkswagen said Wednesday in a statement.

VW was able to proceed with the transaction after reaching an agreement with German tax authorities, it said.

The price is based on an equity value of 3.88 billion euros and also includes what the Porsche holding company would have received in dividend payments and half of the forecast synergies from the transaction.

The two companies agreed to combine in 2009 after Porsche racked up more than 10 billion euros of debt in an unsuccessful attempt to take over Volkswagen.

The two scrapped the plan for a full merger last year with the Porsche holding company, which owns 50.7 percent of VW’s common stock, because of lawsuits against Porsche in the United States and Germany.

The deal announced Wednesday allows VW to purchase Porsche’s automotive business without having to pay the taxes associated with exercising a put-call option it had to buy the stake.

The deal will result in 320 million euros in additional synergies due to the earlier completion.

“We can now cooperate even more closely and jointly leverage new growth opportunities in the high-margin premium segment,” VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement. “Combining their operating business will make Volkswagen and Porsche even stronger — both financially and strategically — going forward.”