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VIPsight

Corporate Governance – portrayed in the individual cultural and legal framework, from the standpoint of equity capital.

VIPsight is a dynamic photo archive, sorted by nations and dates, by and for those interested in CG from all over the world.

VIPsight offers, every month:
transparent and independent current information / comments / facts and figures on corporate governance locally and internationally,

  • written by local CG experts,
  • selected and structured by the Club of Florence,
  • financed by its initiator VIP and other sponsors with a background of “Equity and Advisory” interests.
     

VIPsight International


 

VIPsight - July 2012


COMPANIES


Post has less aid to repay

The federal government has now formally submitted an aid recovery request for €298 million, including interest, to Deutsche Post for its earlier financing of civil servants’ pensions. That means the Bonn logistics group has to pay back significantly less aid to Berlin than was first thought. With its high net liquidity the DAX Group can certainly cope with that, say analysts. What had been feared was a repayment of between 500 million and one billion euros. The decision of the European Commission, which had opened the aid proceedings in 2007, was based on a consideration of the civil-service pension burdens in the official price authorizations by the Federal Network Agency. This had led to unlawful aid. Deutsche Post and the federal government have now filed suit against the “inexplicable” decision from Brussels at the European Court. Experience has shown that such proceedings can drag on for long.


Treasury wants half a billion euros from Post

The German tax authorities have announced tax bills for Deutsche Post showing a sales-tax payment in excess of 516 million euros. This relates to disputed payments from the bond business, which is partially exempted from VAT. The decision was the result of a comprehensive examination of complex tax ​​issues and covers the period from 1998 to the entry into force of the revised sales-tax law for postal services on 1 July 2010. The mail and logistics company had already partly made ​​provisions for the payment of arrears, on the size of which the DAX Group remains silent, however. The Post has accepted the decision; the negative impact on net profits in 2012 is estimated by the Bonn company at 265 million. The additional payment is to be made ​​in the third quarter of this year. The German post office is nevertheless still holding to its earnings forecast established for this year. The share price was unimpressed by this decision, though.


Disruptions in Rhön-Klinikum takeover

The billion-dollar takeover of Rhön-Klinikum by Fresenius is facing failure. Shortly before the expiry of the deadline for the bid, Asklepios bought into Rhön with a surprise 5.01 percent (6.9 million shares for about 145 million euros) and could thus thwart the plans of Fresenius. The DAX Group countered the competing hospital operator’s stock purchase on the evening of the same day and also built up its share by an additional 3.6 percent. Whether the minimum acceptance threshold of 90 percent plus one share has been crossed will probably be announced still in July. On the stock market, the shares of Rhön-Klinikum collapsed by 15 percent in the short term, more than ever before. On Wednesday afternoon, 27 June, only 44% of the Rhön shares had been tendered to Fresenius as part of the €3.1 billion bid.


Antitrust dispute at Siemens ended

Siemens and Areva have now definitely managed to stop an EU antitrust case by making binding commitments. The Commission accepted an undertaking by the companies. It had assumed that a competition ban on several core technology markets agreed by the Germans and the French from the time of their nuclear partnership could be contrary to European law. Siemens may now compete with the French group in nuclear power plant technology already after three years, and not as first agreed after eleven years. The two companies had founded the joint venture Areva NP in 2001. In 2009 the Bavarians terminated the nuclear partnership. When there were disputes with Areva about the non-competition clause, Siemens had asked the EU authority for help. Brussels held this agreement to be inappropriate, since it prevented Siemens appearing on markets on which the joint venture had acted only as a reseller of Siemens products.


New arrivals on the TecDax

With SolarWorld and SMA Solar, since the recent decision on 18 June on the composition of the indexes only two companies from the once-dominant solar sector are still listed on the TecDAX. As substitute for Centrotherm, Deutsche Börse decided on Cancom. While the price fall of the last few months is the background for the elimination of the machine manufacturer, BB Biotech is eliminated from the technology segment due to its sales focus. Companies having their registered office not in Germany but in another EU or EFTA State must have at least 33 percent of their commercial turnover at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, including Xetra, explains Deutsche Börse. Sartorius replaces the Swiss since they no longer meet the criteria for remaining in the TecDAX. The composition of the DAX, MDAX and SDAX is reportedly unchanged. The next scheduled date for the review of the German stock-market indexes is 5 September.