Porsche, Piech Sued in Frankfurt by Hedge Funds Over VW

Seven hedge funds sued Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand Piech, members of Porsche Automobil Holding SE’s supervisory board, seeking 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of compensation over the aborted purchase of Volkswagen AG in 2008.

The funds brought a civil action against Porsche, the board chairman, and Piech, Volkswagen’s chairman, at Frankfurt Regional Court, Porsche SE said today in an e-mailed statement. The company said it will contest the suit, describing it as being without merit.

Porsche has faced a series of legal actions since disclosing in October 2008 that it controlled 74.1 percent of Volkswagen AG, partly through options, and was seeking to acquire 75 percent and eventually take it over. The announcement caused Volkswagen’s stock to jump as short sellers raced to buy shares to repay borrowed stock in bets that VW would fall.

Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, now controls the Porsche brand. In January, VW reported 2013 deliveries that pushed it past General Motors Co. to become the world’s second-largest automaker, behind Toyota Motor Corp.

Porsche has so far been successful in defending against allegations it manipulated Volkswagen shares. The company ended most related U.S. litigation by winning a bid to have the cases moved to Germany. In July 2013, the company won a ruling in an effort to block a new legal claim in the U.K.

The Porsche statement, which didn’t name the hedge funds, followed a report in the German magazine Spiegel that Elliott Associates LP was among those that filed the civil suit.