28 August 2009
German prosecutors say they are investigating the former head of the car maker Porsche and a former chief financial officer - as part of an inquiry into allegations of market manipulation and insider trading linked to a takeover bid for Volkswagen.
Click to hear the report:
Porsche attempted to acquire a controlling 75% stake in Volkswagen through complex financial manoeuvring last year. The bid ultimately failed as Porsche built up huge and unsustainable debts.
Prosecutors launched a probe into claims of market manipulation and insider dealing associated with the aborted takeover some time ago. It's now been confirmed that former chief executive of Porsche, Wendelin Wiedeking, and former chief financial officer, Holgar Haerter, are being investigated as part of these inquiries. Both men left the company last month.
Porsche denies accusations of wrongdoing and says it's co-operating with the authorities.
Mark Gregory, BBC News
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- to acquire
to buy (a business term)
- through complex financial manoeuvring
by carrying out a great number of various complicated money transactions
- the bid ultimately failed
the takeover attempt was not successful in the end
- unsustainable debts
when a company owes too much money to other companies or banks to be able to function normally for a considerable period of time
- launched a probe
began an investigation
- market manipulation
controlling prices on the market; artificially making prices go up or down (e.g. through suddenly selling or buying a lot of stocks and shares)
- insider dealing
illegal share dealings where people use confidential information about prices to make a profit
- denies accusations of wrongdoing
insists it has done nothing wrong, even though others say it has