Steel producer: Major shareholders level way for capital increase at Schmolz + Bickenbach

Steel producer: Major shareholders level way for capital increase at Schmolz + Bickenbach

         Steel producer Major shareholders level way to capital increase at Schmolz + Bickenbach The troubled Swiss steel company needs more capital. Now the shareholders have approved the issue of new shares. That could bring millions of euros in the cash. The Swiss steel producer Schmolz + Bickenbach, which is struggling with industry-wide weak demand and losses, has taken an important step towards achieving the required capital increase. After an agreement between the two rival major shareholders, close to 80 percent of the attending shareholders voted to issue new shares at an Extraordinary General Meeting on Monday. Schmolz + Bickenbach should receive at least 325 million francs (295 million euros) through the transaction, said the company and the two largest shareholders Martin Haefner and Liewet Holding. How many shares will ultimately be issued also depends on the issue price. Before the Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors defined three options: 0, 0, 30 francs. The way for the transaction was cleared by an agreement by Haefner and Liwet in literally the last minute: The General Assembly start because of the negotiations of the two largest shareholders about an hour later than originally planned. As a result, Haefner will increase its shareholding to the highest 37, 5 percent, and keep Liwet a package of 25 percent as part of the capital increase. How it goes on now largely depends on the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma). The latter must decide whether to overturn a decision of the Takeover Board not to allow exemptions from a duty to make offers to the free-float shareholders in connection with the planned capital increase. Both Haefner and Liwet filed a complaint against the verdict of the Takeover Board. In Switzerland, a shareholder who buys one third of the shares usually has to make a mandatory offer to the remaining shareholders. A decision of the Finma is expected until December 9th. Schmolz + Bickenbach had signed a power struggle in the course of the capital increase. Haefner wanted to inject 325 millions of francs of fresh capital, but made it a condition that its stake in the transaction should rise to at least 37, 5 percent from current 17, 5 percent. At the beginning, the biggest owner, Liwet, (9%) (9%), against whom the Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg owns a stake in Schmolz + Bickenbach, opposed the project. The shares of Schmolz + Bickenbach were suspended from stock exchange trading on Monday. At the Friday closing price of 0, The group is struggling to cope with the crisis in the automotive industry – the bottom line was a loss of 420 million euros in the third quarter. Schmolz + Bickenbach produces in Germany at the four locations Witten, Siegen, Krefeld and Hagen. Now on wiwo.de You want to know what drives the economy? Click here for the latest articles of WirtschaftsWoche. © Handelsblatt GmbH – All rights reserved. Acquire usage rights?          Services offered by our partners       
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