BaFin rules that Porsche didn’t break disclosure rules with July 4 filing

Article by Anita Panait, on September 15, 2012

Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has cancelled its probe into whether Porsche SE violated rules on disclosure when it informed shareholders in July 2012 about divesting its sports car operations to Volkswagen. According to BaFin, it found nothing wrong with a regulatory filing issued by Porsche SE on July 4, 2012, which informed its shareholders that VW would finalize its two-stage acquisition of its Porsche AG sports car business.

VW paid nearly EUR4.5 billion ($5.8 billion) to acquire the remaining 50.1 percent stake in Porsche AG it did not already own, marking the conclusion of years of attempt to merge the two German carmakers. Despite the completion of the acquisition, Porsche SE remains embroiled with legal problems that stop it in its tracks in 2011 to combine with VW.

These problems include tax complications and investor lawsuits, making Porsche a hostage of those legal barriers. Porsche SE is currently facing a number of lawsuits in its home market Germany and in the United States by hedge funds. German and U.S. investors claim that the company has masked a move in 2008 to acquire VW and it covertly accumulated a majority stake in it.

Prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany are also probing whether former Porsche SE chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and his former finance chief manipulated markets when they revealed late in 2008 their shareholding in Volkswagen. BaFin initially conducted the probe on the market manipulation allegations and passed its findings to prosecutors in Stuttgart.

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