Case Number: 5-209-250, Year Published: 2009
HBS Number: KEL417
Equity Derivatives, Total Return Swaps, Beneficial Control, Disclosure
Family members knew something was very wrong when Adolf Merckle, who had guided the family holding company, VEM Vermögensverwaltung GmbH, through dozens of successful investments, left the house one afternoon in January 2009 and failed to return. That night their fears were confirmed when a German railway worker located Merckle’s body near a commuter train line near his hometown of Blaubeuren, about a hundred miles west of Munich.
This case focuses on the massive equity derivative positions entered into by Porsche in relation to Volkswagen stock and by TCI and 3G in relation to CSX stock. Students will learn how equity exposure can be created without buying stock and without prior disclosure. The role of regulators, courts, and investment banks that facilitate these transactions is also explored.
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