German court orders Porsche SE to pay damages for disclosure violations

October 24, 2018 14:20 CET

FRANKFURT — A court in Stuttgart, Germany, ordered Porsche Automobil Holding SE to pay damages to shareholders and charged the company with violating disclosure rules tied to a 2015 diesel-emissions scandal, two law firms said on Wednesday.

The regional court in Stuttgart was not immediately available for comment.

Porsche SE shareholders sued the company for failing to inform its investors in a timely manner about a diesel-emissions scandal which has cost Volkswagen Group more than 27 billion euros ($30.8 billion) in fines and penalties.

At the time that regulators in the United States caught the German automaker systematically cheating emissions tests, the company was headed by Martin Winterkorn, who was CEO of both VW Group and Porsche SE.

Porsche SE should have informed its investors in a timelier fashion about the regulatory risks facing the automaker, the law firms said, citing the court’s ruling. Porsche SE has a 30.8 percent stake in Volkswagen and holds a 52 percent voting stake in the automaker.

Law firm Nieding & Barth said the pension fund for the city of Wolverhampton in England was awarded 3.2 million euros in damages by the Stuttgart court on Wednesday.

Law firm TILP said Porsche SE was asked to pay 44 million euros to shareholders.

The verdict is not enforceable yet as Porsche can still file an appeal, TILP said.

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