We haven't heard about the Volkswagen Law in a while, but that doesn't mean the EU Commission has forgotten about it. The law gives the state of Lower Saxony, with a 20.1-percent stake in VW, veto rights on a takeover deal, which means no one's ever going to take over VW because its home state won't allow it. The law came in handy when Porsche was working to gobble up Volkswagen. The law was struck down by the EU Court of Justice in 2007. Germany then scrapped the old VW Law but rewrote another
With present economic conditions shrinking Porsche's available cash, the automaker may have to adjust or delay its plans to gain full control of Volkswagen. In January, Porsche raised its stake in Volkswagen to 50.76% gaining a majority stake. The Stuttgart-based automaker wants to purchase more of VW, but it stressed that economic conditions must support the move.
Porsche is one step closer to its goal of purchasing Volkswagen. Back in April of last year, the German automaker passed the 30-percent mark, forcing it to make an outright offer for The Volkswagen Group in its entirety, which it did. Not too many VW shareholders sold their stake to Porsche, as the bid was for the bare minimum amount allowed by law. Still, the legal requirement had been met, allowing Porsche to continue gobbling up the automaker according to its own timetable. Earlier this year,
A procedural glitch, as opposed to Berlin-based intrigue, has postponed Porsche's plan to take over Volkswagen. The EU Commission requires a company to have a controlling interest in a company, or at least an agreement for such, before it will consider a company's application for regulatory approval. To straighten things out, Porsche has raised its stake in VW from 30.6 percent to 35.5 percent, which effectively grants it control of the much larger carmaker.
In a move that may undermine Germany's protection of Lower Saxony and its close ties to Volkswagen, the European Commission plans to review the case of Volkswagen Law in the European Union's top court. As you may recall, Porsche has been trying to take majority control of rival Volkswagen. However, the so-called "Volkswagen Law" has protected VW from takeover by allowing the state of Lower Saxony (where thousands of VW jobs are at stake) to retain just enough stock in the company to prevent Pors
The so-called "VW law" was struck down by the European Court last October. Previous to that, the state of Lower Saxony was able to veto any Volkswagen shareholder action it didn't like. When the law was struck down it looked like the Lower Saxony had no choice but to watch Porsche, which had been circling shark-like around Volkswagen for a bit, decide on the day it chose to take majority control of the much larger company.
Porsche got what it wanted with the repeal of the "Volkswagen Law", but has done nothing yet but stand over its prey, waiting for... well, nobody knows what Porsche is waiting for. However, Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking has told VW that the smaller company will not make Christmas dinner of the larger: Porsche will wait until after the holidays to take majority control of Volkswagen.
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