T-Share: Telekom offers the plaintiffs a settlement

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For the vast majority of plaintiffs, the process for the third Telekom IPO in 2000 will come to an end in the coming months. In the current year, the first payments should flow from a settlement proposal on which investor protection and the defendant Deutsche Telekom agreed on Tuesday – with the express approval and support of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court. The settlement proposal should be presented to all plaintiffs by June 30, 2022. You alone decide whether to accept or reject it.

If accepted, the shareholders will receive back the purchase price paid in 2000 of EUR 66.50 per share, from which dividends and partial sales paid in the meantime will be deducted. The current value of the share is also offset at 16.50 euros, as well as the bonus shares of the federal government that were subsequently distributed, because all papers are to remain with the buyers. 70 percent of the litigation interest that has accrued since the lawsuit was filed is then added.

The comparison offer had already emerged in the past week. Telekom and the parties invited, KfW Bank and the Federal Republic of Germany, did not want to comment on the overall financial scope of the settlement. The roughly 16,000 plaintiffs initially claimed damage of around 80 million euros. About the same amount is likely to accrue again for the interest accrued over many years, it said on Tuesday in legal circles.

“With this – apart from a small part of the interest – almost 100 percent of the asserted claims are satisfied”, explained the managing director of the German Association for Protection of Securities (DSW), Marc Tüngler. The reimbursable litigation and legal fees should not be left with the plaintiffs.

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In addition to other plaintiff’s attorneys, the presiding judge Bernhard Seyderhelm also urgently advised small investors to accept the settlement. He warned them of incalculable cost risks in continuing the process, which could easily take another five years until a legally valid BGH decision. “The Senate urges everyone involved to conclude this settlement.” Telekom chief lawyer Claudia Junker even spoke of up to ten years that it could have lasted without compromise. “It is now time we made this very fair offer.”

On Tuesday in Hall E II, it took only a quarter of an hour until the lawyer Peter Gundermann from the Tilp law firm spoke about the “mammoth trial” for the first time. Seldom has the comparison to the original tier been better than that of the Telekom case, in which, for the first time in German legal history, the around 12,000 lawsuits filed by more than 16,000 plaintiffs at the Frankfurt Regional Court were combined into a specially created investor model procedure (KapMuG). This was followed by two almost endless trials before the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court, whose submission orders at the Federal Court of Justice were not completely convincing on both occasions, so that 20 years after the first lawsuits there is still no final decision.

In the course of the proceedings, the selected model plaintiff, Bruno Kiefer, died in June 2016 and, on April 1 of this year, the lawyer and prominent investor representative Andreas Tilp, who had a decisive influence on the proceedings. After the settlement proposal, his close colleague Peter Gundermann repeated the assessment that the plaintiffs would presumably have received nothing without the summarizing model proceedings. “The KapMuG bundles the forces of all investors, so that an effective weight arises against the market power of the opponent,” said the lawyer.

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A quick solution to the conflict was not found – unlike in the USA, where Telekom paid out 150 million dollars to investors in 2005. “The case clearly shows how unsuitable the KapMuG procedure in its current form is,” criticized DSW representative Tüngler. His colleague Klaus Nieding hopes that the “absolutely sensible” Frankfurt comparison will send a signal to other KapMug processes such as Volkswagen or Porsche: “Companies have to move much earlier in terms of share culture. That means they have to approach shareholders who complain. “


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