Porsche's former executives, ex-CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and ex-CFO Holger Haerter, were acquitted in a regional trial court in Stuttgart, Germany, on charges of manipulating the market in a bid to take over Volkswagen in 2008.
Frank Maurer, the judge who presided over the case, said there is nothing he could find in the allegations of the prosecutor in Stuttgart.
The prosecutors reportedly urged that Wiedeking and Haerter should both be sentenced to prison terms of more than two years. More specifically, prosecutors sought prison terms of 27 months for Haerter and 30 months for Wiedeking.
Prosecutors also intended to slap both Wiedeking and Haerter with fines of 1 million euros ($1.13 million) each.
Apart from manipulating the market, the former executives were also charged with misleading the public and intentionally concealing their plans to increase Porsche's stake in Volkswagen from regulators and investors.
From March to October in 2008, Porsche denied five times that it plans to take over Volkswagen. On Oct. 26, the company changed its course and revealed that it owned 74.1 percent of VW, in part through options. As a result, the price of VW shares went up as short sellers hurriedly tried to cover their positions. From 290 euros, VW's stock price reached up to 1,005 euros per share, which made the automaker the most valuable company in the world for a brief period of time.
The frenzy caused speculators to lose around 15 billion euros ($19 billion) in two trading days at the time, according to estimates.
In 2009, Porsche's takeover plan was revealed after the company went underwater for trying to finance a 10 billion euro, or about $1.13 billion, loan. When funding eventually dried up, Porsche aborted its plan and had to face the repercussions. In the end, the tables turned and it was Volkswagen which actually took over Porsche.
Prosecutors of the case had reportedly sought fines of around 800 million euros ($869.5 million) from Porsche. Maurer ruled that Porsche is not obliged to pay a fine.
News of the acquittals on the two former Porsche executives brought up the shares of Porsche Automobil Holding SE by up to 1.1 percent to 45.30 euros, about $51.
For years, the case on Porsche made top local headlines and it has been described as the highest profile failure by a German-based automaker. The Porsche case was then overshadowed by VW when it became involved with the emissions scandal.
Porsche is also facing civil suits wherein plaintiffs are reportedly seeking a whopping 5 billion euros (around $5.6 billion) from the German automaker.