February 20, 2018 / 4:43 PM / 10 months ago

Stefan Quandt becomes BMW's most powerful shareholder

The BMW booth displays the company logo at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Stefan Quandt has become BMW’s (BMWG.DE) largest single shareholder, giving him a big enough stake to block any potential takeover of the Bavarian carmaker, a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old German entrepreneur’s direct ownership increased with shares inherited from his mother, giving him a so-called “blocking stake” of 25.83 percent, worth 13.4 billion euros ($16.6 billion).

Under German takeover rules buyer acquirer own a voting stake of more than 75 percent to gain full control.

The Quandt family has for decades controlled a stake of a little more than 46 percent of the Munich-based carmaker that owns the Rolls-Royce and Mini brands, but Stefan Quandt’s enlarged holding means he can now act single handedly to prevent a full takeover, if necessary.

Although the voting rights have been redistributed, the family’s stance about keeping its stake remains unchanged, a Quandt family spokesman said.

“The family has no plans to sell their stake,” he said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor Alexander Huebner and Irene Preisinger; Editing by David Goodman

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