Porsche's board of directors in an all-night meeting endorsed talks to sell a stake to the Gulf state of Qatar and to boost its finances with a capital hike of at least 5 billion euros.

The steps, approved at an extraordinary meeting which lasted until the early hours of Thursday morning, came as Porsche enters the final stretch of negotiations to create a combined auto group with Volkswagen .

The unanimous approval of the supervisory board signals that Porsche's owning families, the Piech and Porsche clans, may be open to surrendering some of their influence at the sportscar maker to an outsider.

A Porsche spokesman declined to comment further on the matter.

The Porsche and Piech families control 100 percent of Porsche's voting shares and have resisted selling a stake to an outsider in the past.

Stuttgart-based Porsche also said it had agreed with Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking and Chief Financial Officer Holger Haerter on their dismissal with immediate effect, sending them off with pay-offs of 50 million euros ($70.96 million) and 12.5 million euros, respectively.

Wiedeking had sought to bolster Porsche's balance sheet as the auto maker has struggled to raise funds to pay more than 10 billion euros in debt.

Porsche amassed the debt as it tried to buy a 75 percent stake in VW, a move which backfired as credit markets turned sour, leaving Porsche struggling with a pile of debt.

The supervisory board meeting, which was convened a day earlier than expected, also approved a proposal by Porsche's board to prepare for a capital increase of at least five billion euros in cash and/or a contribution in kind, the company said.

Porsche, which owns a 51 percent stake in VW, is now seeking to bolster its finances before sitting down to merger talks with Volkswagen.

Porsche has a two tier system of management with a 12-member board of directors, headed by Wolfgang Porsche, and a 6-member management board, headed by Wendelin Wiedeking.

($1=.7046 Euro)

(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Anshuman Daga and Simon Jessop)