TIMELINE-Porsche's pursuit of Volkswagen

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Shares in German automaker Porsche SE PSHG_p.DE soared on Monday after a U.S. judge dismissed a hedge fund lawsuit seeking more than $2 billion in damages, removing a key obstacle to a merger with Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE.

Below is a timeline of events leading to the merger:

Sept. 25, 2005 - Porsche says it plans to buy a 20 percent stake in VW. Three days later it emerges with a 10.3 percent voting stake.

Nov. 15 - Porsche’s supervisory board authorises an increase in the stake to 29.9 percent, triggering speculation it plans to gain majority control.

April 30, 2007 - Porsche submits mandatory takeover offer after crossing 30 percent threshold.

March 3, 2008 - Porsche supervisory board gives go-ahead to raise its VW voting stake to over 50 percent.

Oct. 26 - Porsche says it holds stock and options that give it control of 74 percent of VW’s votes and announces plans for a “domination” agreement. A resulting scramble for VW shares by shortsellers caught out by the announcement briefly makes VW the world’s most valuable company.

Jan. 5, 2009 - Porsche says it has raised its VW voting stake to 50.8 percent and confirms its plan to raise stake to 75 percent this year if conditions allow.

May 6 - Porsche drops Volkswagen takeover plan and says it will instead pursue a merger with Europe’s largest auto maker.

May 12 - VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech says Porsche must get its 9 billion euro debt under control before any deal can be agreed.

May 25 - Porsche confirms it received a 700 million euro loan from VW.

July 10 - Chairman Wolfgang Porsche calls an extraordinary supervisory board meeting for July 23 to discuss a possible sale of a stake in Porsche SE to Qatar worth over 5 billion euros.

July 23 - A proposal by Porsche’s board to prepare for a capital increase of at least 5 billion euros in cash and/or a contribution in kind, is approved by the supervisory board, setting the stage for a merger with Volkswagen.

Dec. 4 - Lower Saxony state premier Christian Wulff says Lower Saxony is to hold up to 22 percent of combined Volkswagen-Porsche Company while Porsche and Piech families are to hold 30 percent in combined group.

Dec. 7, 2009 - Volkswagen says it has bought 49.9 of Porsche’s sports car business at a cost of 3.9 billion euros.

Jan. 25, 2010 - A group of investment funds sue Porsche SE and two of its former top executives accusing them of fraud in a "short squeeze" that caused the funds to lose more than $1 billion from Porsche's attempted takeover of Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE in 2008.

March 25 - Volkswagen says it will raise net proceeds of about 4.1 billion euros after issuing 64.9 million new preferred shares at a price of 65 euros each in its rights issue.

April 29 - Elliott Associates, L.P. says securities fraud and manipulation lawsuit against Porsche SE expands to more than $2 billion in losses and says 18 investment funds have joined the lawsuit against Porsche SE.

July 29 - Volkswagen CFO says Porsche sees lawsuits without merit so 2011 timetable for Porsche SE integration remains.

- Volkswagen CFO says Porsche SE preferred shareholders will receive Volkswagen preferred shares in 2011 integration.

Oct. 19 - Financially troubled auto holding Porsche SE says it may not be absorbed into Volkswagen by the end of 2011, as planned, due to some unresolved legal and tax issues related to the deal, the chief executive of both companies says.

Nov. 30 - Porsche CEO says there are tax risks of 1-2 billion euros related to any merger with Volkswagen before 2014.

Dec. 30 - A U.S. federal judge dismisses a lawsuit by 10 hedge fund groups accusing German automaker Porsche of cornering the market in shares of Volkswagen, resulting in more than $2 billion of damages.

Compiled by Michelle Martin in Frankfurt