Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Latest In The Porsche/VeeDub Soap

(First published by Bertel Schmitt in TheTruthAboutCars on November 3, 2008)

Never a dull moment in the ant-eats-elephant soap, a.k.a. Porsche’s takeover of VeeDub. On the heels of what the newspaper Die Welt called the “craziest week in the history of the German benchmark index DAX,” VW’s stock makes headlines again. Or, rather, the headlines are made by a minority owner, the state of Lower Saxony. Nearly forgotten in the broo-haha, that German province, home of Volkswagen’s headquarters Wolfsburg, owns 20.1 percent of VeeDub’s stock. By the dubious virtue of the so-called “Volkswagen-Gesetz” (VW law), Wolfburg’s stake gives the state of Lower Saxony veto power over just about anything they like or dislike. Originally, that law was intended to ward-off hostile takeovers by foreign powers. (Remember GM?) Now, it provides the legal means for provincial politics. Niedersachsen’s Governor Christian Wulff declared yesterday: “Profits going to Porsche? Not if you ask me.” And Porsche will have to ask Mr. Wulff.


If Porsche holds 75 percent, they can enter into what’s called a “controlling agreement.” They book all of VW’s profits as Porsche’s, and run VW from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. If there wouldn’t be that little detail called Volkswagen-Gesetz. Which the EU wants to abolish, BTW, to the applause of Porsche. Still, the law is on the books. And if Porsche doesn’t make nice with Lower Saxony, their best laid plans go the way of mice and men. In the meantime, Herr Wullf uses his minority position to throw gubernatorial dirt in Porsche’s direction: “It’s doubtful that Porsche can afford the 75% anyway.” Ha, take that, you upstart little dwarfs! (In the next installment of the saga from soapland: The inside story of how Porsche got VW on the cheap. Makes Cerberus look like a playful puppy.)
(Picture courtesy of  NDR. Thank you!)

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

Hey,B, You must know that Schaeffler got financing troubles in Continental takeover lately. Maybe the old Schaeffler lady need help from Porsche...

Bertel Schmitt said...

I know, I know .....

Or maybe they should have called Carl Hahn, you know, the gentleman who brought the Santana to Shanghai. He was CEO of Continental before .....