Premiere boss hits back at fraud charges

Former Premiere boss Georg Kofler has hit back at charges alleging that he and his successor Michael Börnicke were involved in investment fraud and insider trading at the German pay-TV service. Kofler told local press that the reports were “groundless” and that he is currently considering legal action for potential libel damage.

German shareholders’ interest group Schutzgemeinschaft der Kapitalanleger (SdK) had 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.

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