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Porsche Market Manipulation Trial Begins in Germany

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Porsche ex-CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-finance chief Holger Haerter have gone on trial in Germany accused of market manipulation over a failed Volkswagen takeover bid.

Wendelin Wiedeking and Holger Haerter are accused of having given “false information” to investors.

Defense lawyers for the former executives have described the accusations as “unfounded”.

The failed bid opened the door to Porsche’s takeover by Volkswagen.Porsche market manipulation trial 2015

Between March and October 2008, Porsche issued several public denials that it was planning to raise its stake in VW to 75% and take over the company.

However, prosecutors said it was actually in the process of building up its shares in VW.

When Porsche announced it was planning to acquire enough of VW’s stock to take it over, Volkwagen’s share price shot up, and investment funds which needed to buy VW stock to settle their trading positions found none was available.

Then Porsche’s takeover bid failed, and left the sports car maker with €10 billion of debt.

VW launched a takeover of Porsche in turn, initially acquiring 49.9% of the sports car maker in 2009, before announcing in August 2012 that it had completed the acquisition.

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