Duisburg, 31 October 2014. Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (Haniel) aims to simplify and unbundle its current holding structures in METRO AG with the BVG Beteiligungs- und Vermögensverwaltung GmbH belonging to the Schmidt-Ruthenbeck family (BVG). In this context, the existing pool agreement between Haniel and BVG is terminated as of today.
The two pool partners currently hold direct and indirect shares in METRO AG of 45.78% combined. Of that total share, 30.01% belongs to Haniel and 15.77% belongs to BVG. In addition, the METRO Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft & Co. KG, which belongs jointly to both shareholder groups, and as an interim holding holds some of the shares of METRO AG (26.34%), is to be closed.
Among renowned public limited companies in Germany, the pool agreement was a unique structure. It mainly governed the joint exercise of voting rights, therefore helping to ensure a majority for the Annual General Meeting resolutions, which in actuality is unnecessary. During the last ten years, all METRO AG Annual General Meeting resolutions were passed with a majority of more than 90%. "Haniel believes that the termination of the pool agreement and the intended simplification of holding and ownership structures represent the norm and are therefore a sensible move for all parties involved", explains Haniel Management Board Chairman Stephan Gemkow.
The existing Haniel share of 30.01% in METRO AG is unaffected by the pool termination. As the largest shareholder of METRO AG, Haniel will continue to actively accompany the company and support its value-oriented development.