Exclusive Ex Porsche Managers Acquitted of Market Manipulation

A court in Stuttgart acquitted former Porsche chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and another former manager of market manipulation in the course of the takeover battle between Porsche and Volkswagen in 2008, judge Frank Maurer announced Friday. Mr. Wiedeking and former chief financial officer Holger Härter were accused of concealing their plans to take over VW in October. They first announced their intention to acquire the competitor on October 26, 2008, sending share prices skyrocketing and causing significant losses to investors who bet on falling prices. The prosecution had called for jail terms of several years for both managers, while their lawyers had demanded full acquittals. Observers expect the prosecutor’s office will appeal against the decision, which would take the case straight to Germany’s Federal Supreme Court. In 2008, sports carmaker Porsche tried to take over its bigger rival Volkswagen, but eventually lost the bid and in the end was acquired by VW. Several hedge funds which incurred losses in the billions during the takeover battle have announced plans to sue the managers for damages in civil proceedings. Photo source: DPA