Stork ups takeover defences with prefs

Industrial group Stork has issued new cumulative preference shares to dilute the voting power of two hedge funds which have put the company under siege.

Stork said it had taken the step because the actions of hedge funds Centaurus and Paulson were ‘a serious threat to the development, independence and continuity of Stork and the companies linked to it’.
Centaurus and Paulson have called a shareholders meeting on January 18 at which they will call for the dismissal of the supervisory board and for the management board to require shareholder approval for transactions involving more than €100m.
The prefs boost the Stork Foundation’s stake in the company to almost 50%. The hedge funds hold a combined 33%.
It is the first time in years that a Dutch company has issued prefs to maintain its independence.

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