1. Q: What are the exact requirements for VW investors to join the foundation?
A: The Volkswagen Investor Settlement Foundation (“the Foundation”) represents the interests of investors in Volkswagen securities worldwide, including Volkswagen Ordinary Shares (ISIN: DE0007664005) or Volkswagen Preference Shares (DE0007664039), and public or private debt during the period from 23 April 2008 through 4 January 2016 (inclusive). Institutional investors who purchased, sold or held Volkswagen securities during the Relevant Period are encouraged to join the Foundation as a Participant as soon as possible and, thereby, support the Foundation’s initiatives and purpose. Participation to the Foundation is open to both non-U.S. Investors and U.S. investors who purchased Volkswagen securities outside the U.S. stock exchanges.
Participation in the Foundation carries no financial risk or obligation. Submitting a Participation Agreement also does not make any investor a party to any litigation, and is merely intended to provide the Foundation the required representative capacity under Dutch Law to act as a representative body and also enter into and execute any class-wide settlement agreements on behalf of the Investor class.
2. Q: How does the foundation define the term “damage” for the VW investors?
A: The size of your claim, in the event that the shareholders’ case is successful, will depend on how the Court assesses your loss. The methodology the Court may ultimately adopt when assessing your loss is not certain. It may, for example, be the difference between the amount you paid for the Volkswagen securities and the amount you received when you sold them (or the value of those you still hold). Alternatively, loss may be assessed on the basis of the difference between the price you paid for the shares and their true or real value at the time of purchase (i.e. the price you paid for the shares was inflated and your damages are the amount of that inflation).
3. Q: What will be the costs for Volkswagen investors joining or supporting your actions — if any?
A: There are no costs involved for Volkswagen investors joining the Foundation. The Foundation will pay all of the legal and other costs associated with legal proceedings brought against Volkswagen on your behalf and will also pay any legal costs awarded to Volkswagen if the proceedings are not successful.
4. Q: Does the Foundation apply the principles of the Dutch Claim Code?
A: Yes, the Foundations aims to fully apply all principles of the Dutch Claim Code. In essence, the Dutch Claim Code is a set of principles that should apply to special purpose vehicles acting as representative organisations in collective actions or settlements. In fact, one of the authors of the Claim Code, Rob Okhuijsen, is a Board Member of the Foundation. Click here to review the Dutch Claim Code.
5. Q: Who is financing the Foundation?
A: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP is providing the seed money and is financing the costs of the Foundation, including legal costs. Third-party financing is not anticipated. Any material financing and funding decisions require Board approval.
6. Q: Does signing an participation agreement with the Foundation toll the statute of limitations?
A: Signing an participation agreement does not toll the statute of limitations under German law. Investors that would like to preserve their rights in Germany are advised to seek German legal advice in order to preserve their rights under German law. We have been informed in this regard that under German law, certain claims may start to expire starting September 18, 2016.
7. Q: Could a Volkswagen investor join both legal actions in Germany and those by the Volkswagen Foundation? In other words, does the Foundation require exclusivity?
A: The Foundation does not require exclusivity. Please note that only the Foundation will only be able to enter into a collective class-wide settlement if a sufficient amount of shares/investors participate in the Foundation. Investors are free to both sign a participation agreement with the Foundation and to join a legal action in Germany. Volkswagen will not likely allow investors to receive payment for the same damages in more than one venue. It is therefore likely that investors who join the Foundation while also pursuing action in Germany will be asked to choose when a recovery becomes available in the future.
8. Q: Can an investor now support the Foundation and later, once a settlement has been reached with Volkswagen, decide to opt out?
A: Yes, supporting the Foundation does not bind an investor to the settlement. If the Court declares the settlement binding, an opt-out statement can be submitted.
9. Q: What happens when the Court declares the Settlement Agreement binding?
A: If the Court declares the Agreement binding, Volkswagen, the Foundation, and possible third parties will issue a joint announcement providing information about how an eligible Shareholder can submit claims for compensation under the Agreement and also how they can submit an opt-out statement.
10. Q: Where can I obtain additional information about the ADR litigation against Volkswagen?
A: Please click here for more information.