Telekom shareholder lawsuit meets fresh delay

31st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

31 March 2005, FRANKFURT - An epic shareholder lawsuit against Europe's biggest telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom, faces a fresh delay, with the Frankfurt court confirming on Thursday it would not sit on the case until 25 October.

31 March 2005

FRANKFURT - An epic shareholder lawsuit against Europe's biggest telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom, faces a fresh delay, with the Frankfurt court confirming on Thursday it would not sit on the case until 25 October.

Shareholders accuse the giant firm, which operates the international T-Mobile wireless phone business and Germany's former state-owned fixed-line network, of over-stating the value of its real-estate portfolio when it floated millions of its shares.

They are seeking substantial compensation in the trial, which has begun, but was immediately adjourned to 21 June.

That resumption date has been abandoned because lawyers for the shareholders are waiting for an expert report commissioned by Bonn prosecutors who are mulling separate criminal charges.

Some 17,000 shareholders are being represented by just 10 claimants who allege that share flotation prospectuses in 1999 and 2000 withheld vital information about real estate that ranged from relay stations and phone exchanges to employee housing and car parks.

Much of the case is expected to turn on reports by academic economists invited by both sides to review Telekom's accounting methods in the disputed documents.

Telekom stock, billed at the time as ideal 'people's shares' to support Germans in old age, have plunged to about a quarter of their issue price.

DPA

Subject: German news

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