Porsche Faces Bid to Link Suits in German Class-Action Law

Investors suing Porsche SE have asked a German court to link several lawsuits across the country related to the company’s failed attempt to acquire Volkswagen AG.

Andreas Tilp, an attorney representing institutional investors seeking more than 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in a pair of lawsuits, said he filed the request at the Braunschweig court last week. If the court grants the request, the suits pending in other courts would be halted until his case is resolved, Tilp said in an interview today.

Porsche is fighting suits filed by hedge funds and individual investors in courts in Braunschweig, Frankfurt, Hanover and Stuttgart, that are seeking a total of 5 billion euros. Tilp is seeking to have his suit classified as a test case under a German law that creates a process akin to U.S. class actions.

“If a test case is opened, more investors could join the suit in an easy way and for less money,” said Tilp. “This would bring a turbo effect to the cases.”

Tilp is the lead attorney in several suits under Germany’s mass test law, which was introduced at the beginning of the last decade to cope with 16,000 investors suing Deutsche Telekom AG over a share sale. The law centralizes the evidence phase in capital market cases in which a large number of investors claim to have been hurt by the same action.

Tilp ultimately lost the Deutsche Telekom test case judgment in 2012 after a decade of litigation. He has appealed that ruling.

Porsche spokesman Albrecht Bamler declined to comment on the bid, saying that the suits are unfounded.

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