Former VW chairman sells most of indirect stake in company

Former Volkswagen board chairman Ferdinand Piech has agreed to sell the bulk of his substantial indirect stake in the company.

Piech held around 15 percent of Porsche Automobil Holding SE, a stake valued at around 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

The holding company said in a statement Monday that Piech reached agreement to sell a "substantial part" of those shares to other members of the Porsche and Piech families.

The sale to insiders instead of an outside investor avoids weakening control over Volkswagen by members of the two families.

Piech served as Volkswagen CEO from 1993 to 2002 and then as board chair until he resigned after a dispute with family members in 2015, months before news broke that Volkswagen had equipped cars to cheat on U.S. diesel emissions tests.