Porsche SE facing a claim for damages filed by Ludwig Merckle

Article by Christian A., on January 20, 2012

Porsche SE is facing a claim for damages filed by Ludwig Merckle, who hails from Germany's leading industrial families, according to a family spokeswoman. This family has controlling interests in several companies in the pharmaceutical, engineering and building supplies sectors. The value of this damages claim hasn’t been disclosed.

Investors became upset when Porsche tried to gain control of Volkswagen in 2008 and they took wrong-way bets on a decline in VW shares.

The investors have been filing demands for massive amounts due to damages they incurred. They assert that Porsche misled them on the number of shares that VW held at the time.

This prompted an immense short squeeze. When Porsche announced that it controlled 74.1% of VW's voting stock in October 2008, Volkswagen’s shares exceeded 1,000 euros each after having more than quadrupled in just a matter of days.

Investors who had expected a stop to the surge saw VW become the biggest company in the world by market value for a brief period. Porsche's takeover attempt eventually failed and VW controls it now.

Partly because of the cases filed by investors, Volkswagen was forced in late 2011 to delay a planned merger with Porsche Automobile Holding, the legal entity used in Porsche's takeover attempt of VW. [source: Autonews]

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