Volkswagen AG was ordered to pay MAN SE minority shareholders 12 percent more than it offered two years ago, adding about 330 million euros ($362 million) to the cost of gaining full control of the German truckmaker.
The Munich Regional Court on Friday ruled VW must increase its payout for MAN shareholders to 90.29 euros per share from the 80.89 euros it offered in 2013. The guaranteed dividend remains unchanged, Judge Helmut Krenek said when delivering the ruling on Friday on 160 lawsuits filed by hedge funds, institutional and other investors.
Peter Dreier, a lawyer for a group of plaintiffs, said the decision was a partial victory. He plans to appeal to win a higher payout.
Volkswagen views the original offer as adequate and will await the written judgement before deciding on its next steps, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker said in an e-mailed statement.
The cases are an aftermath of Volkswagen’s 2013 move to take over of the truckmaker by acquiring 75 percent, allowing it full control. Under German law, VW was required to offer put options to minority owners and proposed 80.89 euros or, for those who don’t tender, an annual dividend of 3.07 percent per share. The offer price was determined by two auditors and backed by a court-appointed expert, VW said at the time.
MAN shares jumped as much as 2.3 percent after the ruling, the biggest gain since January 2013, and were up 1.8 percent to 94.91 euros at 9:45 a.m. in Frankfurt.
Volkwagen holds 75.28 percent of MAN. The ruling to raise the payout by 9.40 euros per share concerns the owners of the remaining 24.72 percent, which totals 34.9 million shares.
Additionally, investors can claim interest of 5 percentage points higher than the base rate, due since the domination agreement between VW and MAN was finalized.
In its half-year report published on Wednesday, Volkswagen listed potential claims of 3.6 billion euros on its balance sheet, reflecting payouts if all of the minority shareholders use their put options.
Originally, 162 suits were filed. Two of them were retracted.