A German prosecutor said on Wednesday that the former head of German luxury sportscar maker Porsche had been charged with market manipulation over a failed takeover bid of Volkswagen.
Wendelin Wiedeking, as well as Porsche's former finance chief Holger Haerter, are accused of having publicly given false information on Porsche's plans in 2008, the public prosecutor in the southern city of Stuttgart said.
Between March and October 2008 the two accused allegedly denied at least five times that Porsche planned to raise its stake in VW to 75 percent although it had already begun preparations to do so, the prosecutor said.
Several months later Porsche made the surprise announcement that it held 75 percent of Volkswagen, triggering shares in VW to soar and leading to heavy losses for investors who had banked on a fall.
Porsche failed to swallow the much larger VW, which instead launched a takeover of Porsche, initially acquiring 49.9 percent in Porsche in 2009 in the first stage of a complex takeover agreement.