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Shareholder group charges former Premiere chiefs with fraud

German shareholders interest group Schutzgemeinschaft der Kapitalanleger (SdK) has laid criminal charges at the door of pay-TV operator Premiere’s former CEOs Georg Kofler and Michael Börnicke in a Munich court, alleging investment fraud and insider trading, according to various press reports.

The SdK has accused Kofler and Börnicke of providing false information about the number of subscribers Premiere had at the time of its 2005 stock market flotation and 2007 recapitalisation. The SdK has also accused the pair of selling shares in Premiere at a time when accurate subscriber figures were not publicly available.

Following News Corp’s assumption of management control at Premiere, it downgraded its subscriber count by almost a million to about 2.4 million.