Thursday, September 15, 2005

More on Salzgitter

Further to my recent post, it seems there is fresh speculation about Salzgitter.
FRANKFURT, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Shares in Salzgitter rose more than 4 percent to mark a record high on Thursday following speculation that the company could become the target of a hostile takeover.
German business daily Handelsblatt cited Salzgitter’s finance chief, Heinz-Joerg Fuhrmann, as saying the company was considering whether to transfer pension reserves to an external fund.
The move, together with its ongoing share buyback programme, is designed to reduce the steel maker’s significant cash pile, making the company less attractive as a target for a buy-out.
Fuhrmann was quoted in the Handelsblatt as saying that the company was arming itself against a possible hostile takeover in the face of growing foreign investor interest in the company and recent stock gains.
“It’s a nice trick and one might be able to scare a potential bidder a bit, but I doubt it would be prove to be decisive,” said Timo Holzborn, a capital markets lawyer with the Munich-based partnership Noerr Stiefenhofer Lutz.
“Moreover, it remains to be seen whether management would violate its legal duty to remain neutral. The supervisory board must also act in the interest of the company,” he continued.
The paper named Anglo-Dutch rival Corus , its German peer ThyssenKrupp and Mittal Steel , the world’s biggest steel maker, as possible parties interested in buying Salzgitter.
SOURCE and Full article

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