As Porsche Automobil Holding SE is still fighting in the war caused by its aborted takeover of Volkswagen AG, which actually led to the first being taken by the other, the German company could score a new victory in the ensuing lawsuits.
The company has been taken to court by several investors, which together seek a 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) compensation over the failed takeover. One of the cases, worth 213 million-euro, brought by HWO GmbH, a unit of Merckle Group, actually sees the court having doubts over the statements made public by Porsche, according to Presiding Judge Stefan Puhle. Still, the assessment is just preliminary and could change after further deliberations.
“What Porsche did was maybe what we call slyness,” Puhle said. “But was it also so morally wrong that it leads to legal liability? Slyness is generally highly valued on the markets. It’s called cleverness.”
“It’s likely that some people actually made money after the October release, because they took the opposite bet,” said Puhle. “They probably thanked Wiedeking in their night-prayers for it.”
Since October 2008, when Porsche disclosed it had control over 74.1 % of VW AG, the lawsuits mounted, but the company steadily began winning most of them until today – for example in March it won a related 1.4 billion-euro suit brought by 23 hedge funds in Stuttgart. Also, former Porsche Chief Executive Officer Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-Chief Financial Officer Holger Haerter were cleared of criminal charges last month in relation to the same issue.