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3 charged with credit fraud over Porsche's VW bid

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 22:34

Berlin: Prosecutors have charged Porsche's former finance chief and two other employees of the German sports car maker with credit fraud over alleged misdemeanours during the company's failed attempt to take over Volkswagen AG in 2009.

Prosecutors in Stuttgart, where the company is based, didn't identify the three individuals who are alleged to have provided misleading financial information during the failed bid.

They also declined today to specify whether the three were still with the company, though they did say they worked in the finance department of Porsche Automobil Holding SE.

However, Anne Wehnert, the lawyer for Porsche's former chief financial officer, Holger Haerter, said he was one of the suspects and that he rejects the allegations "emphatically."

The charges centre around the corporate battle in which Porsche built up a 51 per cent stake in much larger Volkswagen. In doing so, it loaded itself with debt just as the global economy was entering its deepest recession since World War II following the 2008 financial crisis.

The battle cost Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and Haerter their jobs in mid-2009, and Volkswagen emerged on top though its own plans for a merger with Porsche are currently stalled by legal issues.

The charges announced today relate to negotiations with banks regarding follow-on financing for a USD 13.2 billion credit line that was due for repayment in March 2009.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to unveil Phantom Series II

Mumbai: Ultra-luxury auto maker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars today unveiled the Phantom Series II at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show.

"The Rolls-Royce Phantom established itself as the benchmark of automotive excellence. These cars are timeless in their appeal, but technology moves rapidly and we cannot afford to stand still," Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said in a statement.

"As a consequence of improvements in design, drivetrain and technology, I am confident that we shall continue to present with pride the very best motor cars in the world for many years to come," he added.

A part of the BMW group, the company said it will for the first time include fully-light emitting diodes headlamps as standard on a production car, it said.


First Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 22:34
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