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German Court Dismisses Investor Claims Against Porsche

A German court on Wednesday rejected two compensation claims brought against Porsche by investors who felt duped by the company over its merger with Volkswagen AG.

A German court on Wednesday rejected two compensation claims brought against Porsche by investors who felt duped by the company over its merger with Volkswagen AG (IW 1000/10).

The regional court of Brunswick, north Germany, dismissed a suit by one investor seeking 3.1 million euros ($4 million) in damages from both Porsche and a bank, as well as a similar suit for 1.57 million euros from an investment company.

The complaints date back to March 2008, when Porsche released two press statements in which it denied plans to merge with VW, Europe's biggest automaker.

The investors charge that the statements were deliberately misleading and Porsche was concealing its true intention to take over VW by acquiring a 75% stake in the much-bigger carmaker.

The two statements were aimed at manipulating VW's share price, the investors claimed.

Months later, Porsche did, in fact, unveil a surprise bid to swallow VW, but that deal ultimately failed.

The two companies then made a fresh attempt to tie the knot in 2009, with VW initially acquiring 49.9% in Porsche in the first stage of the complex takeover agreement, the completion of which has since run into a number of legal and tax hurdles.

In July, the companies said they had found a way to integrate their two businesses two years earlier than would have been economically feasible under their previous plans.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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