The EU’s highest court today overturned a 47-year-old German law that protected Volkswagen AG from takeover, opening the door for a long-rumored Porsche coup. Porsche already owns 31% of VW, but the law capped their voting rights at 20%. With that impediment gone, “I see Porsche flexing its muscles and going for outright control,” one analyst told Bloomberg.
The German law didn’t especially protect minority shareholders, according to the ruling, which can’t be appealed. Volkswagen shares are down 2.2% today, but have more than doubled this year on takeover speculation. One Porsche bid was already rebuffed this year. Now, Porsche could simply buy a 50% stake, but isn’t likely to this year, Reuters reports.