The ongoing battle between Porsche, Volkswagen, and Lower Saxony (the state VW calls home), for outright control of VW is slowly swinging in Porsche's favour. The recent acquisition of a further 8 percent in VW shares, for US$8.49 billion, sees Porsche clear the magical 50 percent mark.
Unfortunately, for Porsche, this does not grant unbridled control of Volkswagen as Lower Saxony's 21 percent stake in the company allows it veto rights on all Board decisions.
It is further complicated byVolkswagen's controlling share in Swedish truck company Scania which requires Porsche, by law, to make a takeover bid. And Porsche, you would think, has no interest in getting into the truck-making business.
By the end of 2009, Porsche intends to up its stake in Volkswagen to a substantial 75 percent. At this point, only Lower Saxony stands between Porsche and total control of the German marque. We imagine our friends from Stuttgart have a plan to that end so watch this space.
With Porsche said to be licking its lips over access to Audi engines and electronics, the merger of Porsche and Volkswagen could potentially yield some enticing outcomes. Hopefully the business side of things can be closed out with minimal fuss so everyone can get back to making cars pronto.