Regulators raid the offices of Porsche

City A.M. Reporter
THE OFFICES of German luxury carmaker Porsche were raided by federal prosecutors yesterday, as part of a probe into suspected market manipulation of Volkswagen shares.<br /><br />The investigation centres on Porsche&rsquo;s former chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking and its ex-finance chief Holger Haerter, both of whom resigned last month.<br /><br />Porsche said: &ldquo;On Thursday morning, officers from Stuttgart prosecutors entered the company&rsquo;s offices with search warrants. The prosecutors suspect a breach of public disclosure requirements and market manipulation.&rdquo;<br /><br />Germany&rsquo;s financial market regulator Bafin said it filed charges with Stuttgart prosecutors, adding a legal twist to what has been a complex corporate takeover drama played out between the two carmakers.<br /><br />Porsche, VW&rsquo;s majority shareholder, tried in vain to take over Europe&rsquo;s biggest carmaker only to abandon the campaign as its debt mounted, forcing it into a reverse takeover by its much larger peer.<br /><br />This development cost the jobs of Wiedeking and Haerter, whose wizardry with derivatives helped Porsche mount the raid on Volkswagen.<br /><br />As part of the takeover, Porsche moved to seize control over more than 70 per cent of Volkswagen&rsquo;s stock, causing Volkswagen ordinary shares to shoot up to &euro;1,000 (&pound;863) apiece last year, briefly making it the world&rsquo;s most valuable company.<br /><br />&ldquo;Porsche rejects the accusations that have been raised,&rdquo; the luxury car company said.