A judge's ruling has set back Porsche's plans to accelerate its take-over of Volkswagen. Now Porsche is focusing on 2009 to consolidate control of its bigger 'baby'.
Porsche's ultimate goal of owning 100 percent of mass car maker Volkswagen has suffered a bit of a blow after German Judge Reinhard Saathoff refused to strike down some rules in VW's charter that protect the voting rights of the state of Lower Saxony, which owns 20.1 percent of VW. The rule targeted by Porsche allows shareholders with at least 20 percent of shares in VW to be able to overturn major company decisions.
Speculation is varied as to why Porsche desires a block on Lower Saxony's voting rights, and one of the theories evolves around Porsche's wish to limit union power at VW. On the other hand, the federal government is fully supportive of this law, which both it and the unions see as some sort of guarantee of job safety at VW.
Porsche's claim stems from a ruling by the European Union court on a German law court which had similar standards on voting rights.
"The VW law and the charter aren't the same and we cannot treat them the same," Saathoff said at a hearing. "If Porsche would interpret a ruling of my court as it did interpret the EU court ruling, I would be pretty mad."
The sports car maker says it currently owns 74.1 percent of Volkswagen which is made up of shares and options. It however, recognises that a 50 percent full ownership in the least, of VW is highly unlikely to happen this year and is eyeing 2009 as the year in which to increase its stake to 75 percent.