Solar Millennium: Investigation into illegal insider trading

According to an article in the German "Süddeutsche Zeitung", the public prosecution in Munich is investigating the former management of Solar Millennium on insider trading. Multiple businessmen, including Hannes Kuhn of the former supervisory board are being accused of having informed three stock brokers beforehand of the change in leadership of the company, a position taken over by ex-EnBW head Utz Claassen.

The newspaper goes on to say that these businessman then jointly invested about €3 three million in shares of the company’s solar thermal plants. Meanwhile they have made profits of about €2.5 million thanks to the quick rise in share prices after the placement of Claassen as head. Kuhn is said to not have profited from this deal, but he is being accused as the man who gave the tip.

Two out of the three stock brokers are known, having been sentenced to jail time in April 2012 by the Munich courts for market manipulation. However, this was compensated with remand.

According to the newspaper, these stock brokers do not have to worry about opening up a new can of worms with regards to this insider trading accusation at Solar Millennium. In the first process at the courts, they had already negotiated a deal which covers any further accusations to come.

Utz Claassen, meanwhile, is still in the middle of a legal dispute with Solar Millennium. He left his position only after two and a half months in March 2010. Premium payments and salaries in the millions range are said to be owed. Most recently, Claassen filed a case against the company for reputational harm. There are also three accusations against Kuhn. Inclusive are the possible insider trading in 2009, market manipulation and tax evasion.

Translated by Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger.