Schaeffler ally Rolf Koerfer is appealing a court decision to block his appointment to the supervisory board of Continental AG.
Although he is formally independent of Schaeffler, which is Continental's dominant shareholder, Koerfer has been a longtime legal advisor to the supplier. As a result, he is considered a close associate of the family-owned company.
As a Continental supervisory board member, he is primarily under obligation to Continental, and that could result in a conflict with Schaeffler's interests.
On March 17, a court in Hanover, where Continental is based, declared Koerfer's board appointment to be void. It said the selection was a violation of a corporate governance code adopted by a government commission.
Schaeffler took control of the much larger Continental last year after launching a hostile $18 billion takeover bid in 2008.