Stada Counters Activist Investor’s Board Move

May 23, 2016

By Jan

Germany-based Stada Arzneimittel AG is a pharmaceutical company which specializes in the production of generic and over-the-counter drugs. The company was founded in Dresden in 1895 as a cooperative pharmacy and in recent years developed to a successful international health care company. In 2014, revenue totaled €2.06 billion.

Active Ownership, a Luxembourg-based activist investor which holds about 5% of Stada’s shares and a further 2% in options said last week it wants to add international expertise to help the German company founded by pharmacists in the 19th century.  The investor would seek to replace three candidates on the nine-member supervisory board, retreating from its initial demand to nominate five candidates and oust the chairman. Active Ownership already named the three candidates in advance. It wants Klaus-Joachim Krauth, former finance chief of drugmaker Hexal; Ulrich Wandschneider, until recently chief executive of hospitals chain Asklepios Kliniken; and Active Ownership founding partner Klaus Roehrig to join Stada’s supervisory

Stada announced that a committee of its current supervisory board would nominate at least three independent candidates instead and Active Ownership welcomed this decision. Chairman of the Executive Board Hartmut Retzlaff said: “We welcome this forward-looking decision of the Supervisory Board to support Stada’s successful growth strategy for generic pharmaceuticals and OTC products by initiating a significant renewal of the supervisory body composition. … This decision taken today serves the best interest of our company, the Supervisory Board creates the foundation for a further positive development of our company.”

Stada’s annual general meeting will be postponed from its original date of June 9 to August 26, 2016. Active Ownership’s other key demand, to cancel the limited transferability of registered shares, will remain on the agenda.

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