Bos will act against activist shareholders

Finance minister Wouter Bos told MPs on Wednesday that he is prepared to take action against ‘detrimental behaviour’ by activist shareholders.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that he considers private equity firms are ‘no good’ Bos said.
The minister was speaking during a debate on a report by Erasmus University into venture capital in the Netherlands.
Bos also warned against an atmosphere of fear developing around private equity. ‘We must be careful that we do not … make it impossible to create value,’ he told MPs.
Bos has already reduced the level at which shareholders must disclose their stake in a company from 5% to 3% and plans to introduce further measures to force shareholders to make their intentions clear at an earlier stage.
The Erasmus report concluded that the controversial role of venture capital groups involved in engineering group Stork, publisher PCM and the ABN Amro bank was not typical of the way hedge funds and private equity funds behave.
‘On average, private equity firms are involved with a company for longer than ordinary shareholders,’ Bos said.

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