Porsche wins legal battle over failed takeover

German sportscar maker Porsche said Friday a US court has thrown out a lawsuit brought by US hedge funds claiming more than two billion dollars in damages over its failed 2008 attempt to acquire Volkswagen.

Porsche wins legal battle over failed takeover
Photo: DPA

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Thursday Porsche’s motion to dismiss the complaints in the Elliott Associates and Black Diamond actions in their entirety, Porsche said in a statement.

A total of 39 plaintiffs had accused Porsche of not coming clean about its intention in 2008 to acquire VW, Germany and Europe’s biggest automaker, and of having manipulated the market.

Porsche caught investors by surprise in October 2008 when it said it had built up a 75-percent stake in VW, causing violent swings in VW’s share price and at one point making it the world’s biggest company by market value.

Speculators, including hedge funds, who had bet VW shares would fall were forced to cover their positions at enormous cost.

Porsche was later caught out by the global economic crisis and ended up abandoning its bid for VW, which turned the tables last year and bought nearly half of Porsche’s equity. VW plans to acquire the rest by 2011.

The plaintiffs have 30 days to file an appeal, the German firm added.


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Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium

At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium
The activist lands on the turf of the Allianz Arena. credit: dpa | Christian Charisius

The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.

However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.

The activist was arrested soon after landing.

A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are”.

The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges. Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk”.

UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

The parachutist above the stadium. Photo: dpa | Matthias Balk

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.

“UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,” said UEFA.

Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.

“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.

“We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent.”

“Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.”

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