Ex-Porsche CFO Guilty of Fraud
It looks like things have turned sour at Porsche headquarters in the past few months. At the beginning of this year, a former Porsche dealer in India, Precision Cars, filed a criminal case against Porsche and the courts in Jaipur decided that Porsche CEO, Mattias Müller, and eight other Porsche execs could be arrested and issued warrants for said arrests.
Now, Porsche’s is facing other difficulties. Ex-finance chief, Holger Haerter, has been convicted of fraud after a court in Stuttgart, Germany proved he provided falsified information back in 2009 when Porsche tried to take over Volkswagen AG. The court decided that Haerter offered inaccurate information when he was working on refinancing French bank BNP Paribas’ part of a €10 billion loan ($13 billion). The biggest issue at hand is that this false information affected Volkswagen’s stock price and lead to market manipulation.
Reports say that prosecutors wanted him to serve time in jail, but instead he was fined an unspecified amount. Haerter rejected the charges and argued for an acquittal.
Click past the jump to read more about Volkswagen’s takeover.
Volkswagen taking over Porsche
Porsche tried for many years to take over Volkswagen, but in the end it was it the one to become part of the 10 brands owned by the German Group. Alongside Porsche, Volkswagen also owns: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat, Scania, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Porsche was bought with €8 billion ($10.5 billion), which helped the company cover its €10 billion ($13 billion) debt. Of course a big part of this debt was created in Porsche’s failed takeover bid of Volkswagen.
Shortly after this failed takeover, the German government has filed charges against former CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and CFO Holger Haerter. The investigation opened revealed that Porsche was planning the takeover with about eight months before the official announcement. Of course, Porsche denied those plans in many times, but these statements negatively affected Volkswagen’s stock price.
"We’re astonished to note the prosecution with this indictment wants to side with unknown short sellers, of all people, who made highly speculative and irrational bets against the VW stock," said Wiedeking and Haerter when they heard about the initial charges. (Automotive News)