EM.TV shareholder suit dismissed

Case launched after kidvidder revised projected loss

LONDON — One of the first cases seeking damages from German kidvidder EM.TV was dismissed by a Munich court Thursday.

Case was launched by one of the thousands of private shareholders demanding compensation for losses after EM.TV drastically revised its projected figures in December, revealing debts of DM2.6 billion ($1.21 billion). The news caused share prices to fall by some 90%.

In Thursday’s test case, an unnamed shareholder sought to recoup $2,400 lost in the wake of the announcement. Similar cases have been filed seeking damages that total millions of marks, based on the claim that EM.TV withheld relevant financial information from shareholders and didn’t provide a timely warning about the state of the company.

Judge Elisabeth Fehlhammer ruled the law provides no protection for individual shareholders and they are aware of the risks they are taking on the stock exchange. She declared that as the figures were based only on projections, there was not enough evidence to support the claim.

Under German law, listed companies have to issue truthful statements, but no private shareholder has been successful in seeking compensation in Germany over the presentation of false information.

The shareholder’s legal advisers are appealing the ruling and examining whether it complies with European law.

Separately, EM.TV’s former chief financial officer Florian Haffa was cleared of charges of insider trading Thursday by the Munich department of public prosecution. Still pending is a ruling on EM.TV founder Thomas Haffa, who allegedly violated securities laws by giving false information on EM.TV’s assets and relations. An announcement is expected shortly. Latter exec is ankling as CEO, effective in September.

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