Porsche board members sued for 1.8bn euros

Porsche Cayenne 4x4 2013 front action
Credits: Otis Clay
3 Feb, 2014 11:00am Alex Yau

Top Porsche executives face legal battle over alleged misleading takeover bid

Porsche chairman Wolfgang Porsche and board member Ferdinand Piech have been sued for allegedly misleading financial markets over a Volkswagen takeover attempt in 2008.

If the lawsuit is successful, Porsche could owe seven hedge funds 1.8bn euros (£1.5bn) in compensation.

Porsche had initially denied any takeover rumours and investors betted against existing Volkswagen shares, expecting a drop in the absence of a firm Porsche bid. 

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It was soon discovered that Porsche actually had positions on 74% of Volkswagen’s shares. This caused a stock market squeeze and investors rushed to buy the Volkswagen stock.

In the end, the global financial crisis and accompanying slump in the car industry stopped Porsche from raising the money to buy the 75% stake needed to take over Volkswagen.

Porsche responded to the lawsuit by denying any wrongdoing and said: “Porsche SE and its supervisory board members will defend themselves with all available legal means.”

Following the failed takeover of VW in 2008 the tables were turned. Volkswagen agreed to take over Porsche in 2009, buying a 49.9% stake in the company, and in 2012, Volkswagen acquired the remaining 50.1% of Porsche shares for 4.46bn euros.