MAN SE (MAN) was sued by Effecten-Spiegel (EFS) AG over answers given at a shareholder’s meeting in the first step in a potential legal battle with minority shareholders over Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s plan to take full control of the truckmaker.
Effecten-Spiegel, a Dusseldorf-based investor and publisher of a finance magazine, filed a complaint in a Munich court charging MAN with providing insufficient information at the June 6 meeting, according to a statement by law firm Dreier Riedel Rechtsanwaelte. MAN declined to comment on the suit because its lawyers had not yet received the filing.
The suit, which is asking for more detailed information than given at the meeting, won’t hinder the implementation of Volkswagen’s domination agreement that was approved at the meeting, the law firm said.
“We still deem the offered compensation as inappropriately low,” Peter Dreier, the Dusseldorf-based lawyer that filed the complaint on behalf of Effecten-Spiegel, said in the statement. “We will review this aspect for our clients after the resolution of the shareholders meeting is registered.”
Volkswagen preferred shares dropped as much as 6.50 euros, or 4.1 percent, to 153.20 euros and was 4 percent lower as of 12:05 p.m. in Frankfurt trading. MAN was 0.1 percent higher at 84.09 euros.
VW gained shareholder approval for a profit transfer and domination agreement with MAN, which eliminates the need for arm’s length negotiations between the companies and gives the carmaker access to MAN’s cash. The vote was never in doubt because VW’s voting stake of just over 75 percent gave it sufficient muscle to push through the plan.
VW, which is required under German law as part of the agreement to offer to buy out minority owners, is proposing purchasing the truckmaker’s remaining stock for 80.89 euros ($106.92) a share. Investors who don’t accept the cash deal will receive an annual dividend of 3.07 euros per share.
Ferdinand Piech, supervisory board chairman at both Volkswagen and MAN, said at the meeting that he expects a drawn-out legal battle with investors seeking a higher price.
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