BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-Chief Financial Officer Holger Haerter were charged with market manipulation over the use of options in a failed bid to take over Volkswagen Group.
The indictment was filed after more than three years of investigations into claims Porsche misled investors in 2008 when it denied that it sought to buy VW. The company in October of that year disclosed a plan to take control of the carmaker.
"The investigation found the suspects in February 2008 at the latest made the decision to increase Porsche's share in Volkswagen to 75 percent in the first quarter of 2009 to prepare a takeover," Claudia Krauth, spokeswoman for Stuttgart prosecutors, said today.
In the period between March 10 and October 2, 2008, Porsche denied at least five times that it planned to increase its VW stake to 75 percent, Krauth said. The denials influenced VW's share price, she said.
The Regional Court of Stuttgart now has to decide whether the case may proceed.
Haerter is currently standing trial at that court in a related case claiming he and other Porsche managers made false statements when refinancing a 10 billion- euro loan.
The part of the probe covering allegations of breach of trust was dropped because they couldn't be proved with the "necessary degree of certainty," Krauth said.