DSW to enforce special audit at Volkswagen by court decision

Despite heated debates at the general meeting of Volkswagen, voting results did not come as a surprise.

The company’s major shareholders, Porsche Automobil Holding SE (controlled by the Porsche/Piech family) , the government of Lower Saxony,  and Qatar Holding LLC ( private equity arm of Qatar Investment Authority), which collectively hold around 90% of the company’s voting rights voted against DSW’s resolutions to appoint an independent special auditor.

“Due to the shareholder structure and the clear positioning of the major shareholders ahead of the meeting it was obvious that our resolution would not receive the necessary majority. Nevertheless we are convinced that an independent audit to investigate the diesel scandal is necessary. Therefore we will enforce the special audit by court decision,” DSW president Ulrich Hocker stated, adding that: “we want transparency for all shareholders, also for those who are not represented on the Supervisory Board or have direct contact with management.”

Minority investors attending the general meeting obviously shared DSW’s view: more than 50% of the share capital present or represented that was not connected to the majority shareholders supported DSW’s special audit resolutions.

The special audits have the following goals:

·       To investigate important details connected with “Dieselgate”, also including the question, whether the management and Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG violated their legal duties and thereby harmed the company.

·       To examine whether the company’s risk management and compliance system has been reviewed and adequately adjusted in the meantime.