STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - Former Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE) finance chief Holger Haerter has been fined 630,000 euros ($820,000) for misleading French bank BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) in loan negotiations in early 2009.
A criminal court in Stuttgart, Germany, on Tuesday sentenced Haerter, who helped engineer Porsche’s unsuccessful attempt to take over Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), to 180 daily instalments of 3.500 euros for making incomplete and wrong statements about the value of VW share derivatives held by Porsche at the time.
Public prosecutors in Stuttgart, where Porsche is based, had sought a 3-year suspended prison sentence plus a 1 million euro fine, while Haerter’s lawyers wanted an acquittal.
According to testimonies by the bank’s representatives in the case, BNP did not feel misled.
The botched takeover attempt led to string of other legal disputes that remain pending.
Hedge funds are seeking billions of euros in damages from Porsche SE, claiming they were misled about Porsche’s intentions with regard to VW in 2008.
German prosecutors have charged both former Porsche Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking and Haerter with market manipulation related to the purchase of VW shares.
Publicly traded holding company Porsche SE sold the Porsche sports car business to VW last year. Porsche SE still owns 50.7 percent of VW’s ordinary shares (VOWG.DE).
($1 = 0.7675 euros)
Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Peter Dinkloh and Mark Potter