By on February 12, 2013

The long simmering scandal around Porsche widens. Following a decision by prosecutors last December to charge former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking, and his then finance chief Holger Härter with market manipulation, German prosecutors have extended a probe to all members of Porsche SE’s supervisory board. This includes Volkswagen’s chairman Ferdinand Piech and what reads like a family meeting of the Porsche clan.

According to Reuters, the 12-member supervisory board of the German holding company, which owns about 51 percent of Volkswagen’s shares, is under suspicion of “aiding market manipulation.” Also under suspicion is former Porsche spokesman Anton Hunger.

At the end of 2008, the supervisory board was as follows.

Capital side:

Wolfgang Porsche (Chairman) , Ulrich Lehner, Ferdinand K. Piëch, , Hans Michel Piëch, Ferdinand Oliver Porsche, Hans-Peter Porsche

Labor side:

Uwe Hück (Vice Chairman), Hans Baur, Wolfgang Leimgruber, Hansjörg Schmierer, Walter Uhl , Werner Weresch.

Wiedeking and Härter repeatedly said they had kept the supervisory board apprised, and that the board had approved the purchase of increasing amounts of Volkswagen shares.

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9 Comments on “German Prosecutors Target Complete Porsche Board...”


  • avatar
    Summicron

    Couldn’t find a way to work body parts into this one?
    Maybe once the prosecutors are done.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Clearly more anti Porsche bias from TTAC. I suppose we must continue for a couple years more hearing about this nonsense just because you guys hate Porsche. In the end, nothing will happen, just like after all those GM death watch stories… Oh wait.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Anyway. I could use a review. How is what these guys did ethically different from what happens all the time on Wall Street? A bunch of profiteers short a company beyond reason trying to create a self fulfilling prediction and force the stock lower. Another group sees a weakness in the scheme and buys up the stock, squeezing the shorts and taking their money. How do I have this wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Perhaps the difference is in German law vs. US law, judging that market manipulation that intentionally destroys stockholders’ value for personal gain is unacceptable and not justified by the results? One could appreciate some semblance of morality in these dealings.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        I’m sure there is a technical difference. Just trying to see if there really is a moral difference before getting lost in the details. Given the budget available for legal advice, I won’t cut any slack for these guys based on ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “Value” can’t be destroyed by trading in the long run. For every share shorted, there will be a buy (short cover).

        A sound and determined company/investor will use the opportunity to buy back/more. Look at AAPL, you probably can guess what will happen if it’s massively short sold.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    The Porsche family for many decades ha consisted of three separate entities . There is the car family. They concentrated solely on building the cars. Second was the design Family ,This is branch that runs a design studio and was set up in the 1970′s to do nothing but design or redesign products for manufacturers. Many off the designs by porsche go unheralded in the market and thirdly,there is the banking Family which has run a very successful and profitable trading bank for a long time. So it is no big mystery that many Porsche surnames appear to be on boards etc.
    These three entities operate in a manner that doesn’t often overlap and create a problem,for example, the Car company doesn’t expect the design studio to design cars for them (they do it themselves) and expect the bank to finance the development ( they do that themselves too…).

    The market manipulation should come as no surprise, it has been going on since the Days of John Law in France and it will continue to go on forever as long as money and the greed and avarice that is the part of making large amounts of money remain part of the human psyche .

  • avatar

    “German prosecutors have extended a probe to all members of Porsche SE’s supervisory board”.
    Let them probe. Then they will have to deliver proof. Then a trial may start, or not. That’s the due course of justice.
    Call me unexcited.

    • 0 avatar

      NB: Given the costs of such a probe prosecutors certainly will have to come up with some findings (whatsoever), just not to loose their faces, after they have already spent considerable money on that issue for two years on a smaller scale. Given the “independent” status of judges in Baden-Württemberg which are payed by the State of Baden-Württemberg (now under the rule of a “Green/Red” coalition) one might be inclined to wonder how that will work out for VW/Porsche, and when.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Okay, NOW I understand why you didn’t take my advice to write a book about this saga, Bertel. If you had, you would be under investigation too, even if Ferdinand Piech hadn’t gone after you first. It saddens me to think of how worldwide litigiousness is suppressing great literature.


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