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German prosecutors charge ex-Porsche chiefs

Published December 19, 2012 10:36 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Berlin • German prosecutors have charged two former Porsche executives with market manipulation in connection with the sports car company's failed takeover of Volkswagen AG, officials said Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Porsche's home city of Stuttgart accuse former chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-chief financial officer Holger Haerter of making misleading statements about the company's intentions in 2008.

Porsche made at least five public statements denying they intended to increase their stake in Volkswagen AG to 75 percent, despite having decided to do so at least six months earlier, prosecutors said in a statement.

The denials caused VW's share price to drop at a time when Porsche was secretly preparing to buy stock in Europe's largest automobile maker, the prosecutors said.

Lawyers for Wiedeking and Haerter denied the charges against their clients and said an independent expert had dismissed the claim that VW shares suffered as a result of Porsche's statements.

Porsche's bid for Volkswagen failed, and VW eventually turned the tables to take over Porsche instead.