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

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VIPsight International

Article Index

VIPsight - August 2015




Winterkorn top of the heap

After a two year dip in Euro-remunerations, emoluments paid out to the CEOs of stock market listed companies have begun to rise again. According to a survey conducted by business consultants hkp, the average rise of directors fees in 2014 was 4 percent, or 5.8 million Euros. The average amount of the actual emoluments paid out to the CEOs of the 30 Dax-listed concerns is 5.9 million Euros. Top of the European list is Martin Winterkorn, the highest paid CEO in Europe, followed by the two CEOs of Cie. Financière Richemont of Switzerland, Richard Lepeu and Bernard Fornas.


The top ten of Dax-listings are:

Martin Winterkorn          Volkswagen      15.9 Million

Dieter Zetsche               Daimler            14.4 Million

Frank Appel                 Deutsche Post   9.6 Million

Ulf Schneider               Fresenius         9.2 Million

Kurt Bock                     BASF               7.8 Million

Kasper Rorsted                 Henkel              7.7 Million

Joe Kaeser                    Siemens           6.7 Million

Marijn Dekkers              Bayer               6.7 Million

Elmar Degenhart            Continental       6.2 Million

Anshu Jain                    DeutscheBank   6.2 Million


K+S takeover stalled

Jochen Tilk CEO of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan is continuing in his efforts to get the K+S executive board to sit down to a constructive dialogue on the issue of Potash’s intentions of purchasing it. The Canadians are by no means discouraged by the reluctant stance adopted by the K+S management. As of now, Potash is still undecided whether to table an official purchase offer for the German fertilizer and salts producer. Company sources, however, confirm that Tilk’s preference lies in a non-hostile transaction with his competitors from Kassel. In a recent presentation of quarterly results, German born Tilk highlighted the advantages for both sides which, according to him, would accrue from the two companies joining forces, adding that he wants to maintain sites and jobs. At the beginning of July, the Canadian company with its headquarters in the province of Saskatchewan proposed the deal but K+S CEO Norbert Steiner, was in total opposition to the terms the Canadians were offering, namely 41 Euros per share, which values the company at 7.8 billion Euros excluding indebtedness. Both the executive and Supervisory Boards are of the opinion that the offer is too low. In addition to more money K+S is also looking for commitments to maintain sites and jobs that are more watertight than those set out in a letter to the K+S management. Tilk states he is willing to offer more binding guarantees. 


Wilex: improved prospects

If the first half-year figures for biopharm company Wilex AG are anything to go by, they point to a success story in increasing turnover and cutting costs. The first six months – ending November 30 of this financial year – witnessed a 35 percent increase in revenue, to 2.3 million Euros over the corresponding period of the previous year. Approximately 1 million Euros came from liquidating reserves, foreign exchange gains and rent of property.

At the same time, costs were cut to 4.2 million Euros, 30 percent down on the first half-year of 2014, achieved by discontinuing clinical development and cutting costs through restructuring. Research and development accounted for some 46 percent – 1.9 million Euros – and further savings were made by reducing costs for commissioned research and administration. Its status of subsidiary of Heidelberg Pharma, qualified the company for funding for the next three years’ research into an active substance against prostate cancer. According to management funding is guaranteed until mid-2016, secured by an increase in share capital dated March 2015.


Bastei Lübbe Digital: towards the future

Bastei Lübbe AG, the well-known publishing house, increased its turnover last financial term (30.3.) with most of the increase in digital publishing. Good news for investors, the dividend is expected to rise, too.

The prime standard-listed media group posted a 2.5 percent increase in turnover on the previous year to approximately 110 million Euros. Digital product such as e-books and digital audio books account for over 20 percent of sales compared to 14 percent the previous year. Ebitda ballooned by 9 percent to approximately 18 million Euros. Extraordinary revenue from the sale of 55 percent of its quota to subsidiary company Beam (on-line, e-bookshop) went hand in hand with one-off costs for computerisation and internationalisation.

The company is clearly oriented to focussing future initiatives on digital product, in particular those of its digital subsidiaries Beam and Daedalic Entertainment, a computer game producer. Bastei Lübbe has forecast a slight increase in turnover this financial year to 115 million Euros, which is then expected to rise by at least 10 percent in the two successive years. By contrast, management is expecting a slight drop in Ebitda in 2015-6. Bastei is expected to announce a dividend to investors of 0.30 Euros per share, 2 cents more than last year – expected payout almost 4 million Euros.