Ex-Premiere bosses accused of insider trading

Georg Kofler, Michael Bornicke accused of fraudulent sales

CANNES -- Two former CEOs of German pay TV group Premiere, Georg Kofler and Michael Bornicke, have been accused of fraud and insider trading related to the sale of millions in Premiere shares in 2007.

Kofler earned upwards of €185 million ($252 million) and Bornicke some €6 million ($8.2 million) when the two execs dumped their stock in Premiere in February 2007. At the time, Premiere stock was trading near €17 ($23) a share. Later it came out that Premiere's published subscriber figures were wildly inaccurate and the company's share price plunged. Premiere stock currently trades for under €2 ($2.70) a share.

A suit filed by the German association of small shareholders on Friday claims Kofler and Bornicke deliberately deceived shareholders and sold their shares knowing the company's figures were wrong. The suit also claims the two men falsified figures ahead of Premiere's IPO in 2005 and again before a new share issue in 2007.

Both Kofler and Bornicke have since left the company. News Corp. is now the single largest shareholder in Premiere, which will soon be rebranded Sky Deutschland.
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