Deutsche Börse shareholder The Children’s Investment Management Fund (TCI) has called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in a bid to oust Kurt Viermetz, the German exchange group’s chairman.
According to a Deutsche Börse statement issued today TCI, a UK-based hedge fund, emailed Viermetz yesterday demanding an EGM. The sole item on the agenda is the withdrawal of Viermetz’s appointment as a member of Deutsche Börse’s supervisory board.
The exchange said that the letter was not received in the appropriate format, but once it was, its executive board would assess whether the demand was legal and decide how to act on it. Any shareholder owning more than 5% of the group’s stock can call for an EGM, but the executive board has the final decision on whether to hold one.
The move appears to be a further attempt by TCI to influence strategy at Deutsche Börse. According to press reports, TCI and Atticus, a US hedge fund, teamed up in early September to try and force the German exchange to sell its equity trading arm to the London Stock Exchange. TCI and Atticus jointly own 19.3% of Deutsche Börse’s stock.
The attempt was quashed by an extraordinary supervisory board meeting on 12 September, during which the supervisory board endorsed the management board’s existing strategy of pursuing an integrated business model. In a statement issued on the day of the meeting, Deutsche Börse did not acknowledge the break-up attempt, but said the supervisory board’s decision to back the management board had been made “against the backdrop of currently available, intensive analysis”.
“On that date the supervisory board totally confirmed that the executive committee is following the right strategy and there is definitely no need for any change,” a Deutsche Börse spokesman told theTRADEnews.com.