Wendelin Wiedeking, former Porsche CEO turned pizza baker, will have to defend himself in criminal court. Along with his former CFO Holger Härter, Wiedeking has been indicted in Stuttgart. This follows a three year probe by the public prosecutor in Stuttgart which had been looking into market manipulation and illegal disclosure of insider information. Only the market manipulation charge survived.
According to Germany’s Automobilwoche [sub], the two are being accused of having made “false statements in relationship with the stock purchase of Volkswagen AG.” Their takeover ploy had propelled Volkswagen’s stock to stratospheric heights. When the stock returned back to earth, Porsche was nearly suffocated by a mountain of debt. Takeover target Volkswagen turned the table and swallowed Porsche.
If found guilty, Wiedeking and Härter could spend up to five years in jail.