AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch foundation trying to recover damages for Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) investors said on Tuesday it had already won the support of dozens of shareholders, including several institutions, since it was launched this week.
The Volkswagen Investor Settlement Foundation, which wants to apply a Dutch law on global collective settlement to seek a deal with Volkswagen, declined to name the investors or say how much of Volkswagen’s share capital they represented.
If it succeeds in reaching an accord with the automaker, it would then ask the Amsterdam court of appeal to declare the agreement applicable to all investors worldwide.
Volkswagen’s shares have plunged since it admitted in September to misleading U.S. regulators about emissions with the help of on-board engine control software, wiping billion of euros (dollars) off its market value.
The Dutch foundation aims to “provide shareholders fair compensation for their losses,” spokesman Anatoli van der Krans said. Volkswagen did not respond to calls seeking comment.
Dozens of large shareholders are preparing lawsuits against the carmaker in German and U.S. courts, but the Dutch foundation says established case law makes the Netherlands a logical place to settle a claim.
The foundation called on institutional shareholders to join the initiative, which is being carried out with New York law firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP.
Volkswagen faces billions of dollars in claims from owners of vehicles with excess emissions in the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department sued the carmaker last month under the country’s Clean Air Act, seeking up to $46 billion.
Volkswagen has named its own adviser, lawyer Ken Feinberg, to create a Volkswagen diesel owner claims program.
Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Alexander Smith