August 26, 2014 / 11:57 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Former Porsche chiefs to be tried over VW takeover saga

* Appeals court overturns lower court decision

* Porsche SE still views allegations as unfounded

* Porsche SE also faces investor lawsuits (Adds detail from court statement and background)

BERLIN, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Two of Porsche SE’s former top executives will be forced to stand trial in Germany over their stewardship during the company’s botched 2008 attempt to acquire Volkswagen.

The investment company’s former chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-finance chief Holger Haerter are suspected of masking a plan to take over VW and secretly piling up a holding in Europe’s largest automaker six years ago.

Tuesday’s ruling by a Stuttgart appeals court overturned a decision by a lower court on April 24 which found the evidence insufficient to pursue the case.

The appeals court said it had “listed multiple signs that could suggest that there was a so-called hidden decision to increase the stake (in VW) as much as they could suggest an opposite evaluation by the lower court.”

Porsche SE, the family-controlled holding company that owns a majority stake in VW, said it still viewed the allegations as unfounded.

Investors have sued Porsche SE for more than 5 billion euros($6.6 billion), arguing the holding company camouflaged its takeover intentions and misled the public. The company still faces pending lawsuits at other German courts.

In March 2008, Porsche SE dismissed talk it intended to take over VW. But seven months later it revealed it controlled 74.1 percent of VW’s common stock, just short of the 75 percent takeover threshold.

Porsche’s statement on its shareholding at the time caused VW shares to surge to record highs as short-sellers scrambled to cover their positions.

$1 = 0.7577 euro Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Ludwig Burger and Mark Potter

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below