A decision from the EU Commission on Schaeffler's planned takeover of Continental is due tomorrow (19 December) but reports now suggest that Schaeffler chief executive Jürgen Geißinger plans to oust Continental chief Hubertus von Grünberg.

Local reports suggested Schaeffler was seeking an extraordinary general meeting as soon as possible so that it can appoint four of its own representatives to the Continental supervisory board.

Last week the two companies were in dispute because Schaeffler management got involved in talks to restructure Continental credit agreements. Owner Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler said that the company was right to contact Continental's banks since it would soon be a major shareholder.

Continental shares rose more than 15% yesterday amidst speculation that the commission would approve the takeover. According to German press agency dpa, traders are also betting that Schaeffler will break an agreement to limit its initial shareholding to 49.99% and seek a dominance agreement quickly.

Schaeffler made a hostile takeover offer during the summer and eventually won agreement for a partial takeover.

For several weeks there has been speculation that the deal could be scuppered by the financial crisis as Schaeffler needs to raise significant credit for the deal to go through.