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CCNN Money Switzerland interviewed Anton Karl, Co-Managing Director and Board Member of Sentis Capital about the investment in Meyer Burger. (Source: CNN Money).


Annual General Meeting teaches the Board of Directors of Meyer Burger a lesson

With their significant support, the shareholders of Meyer Burger have sent a signal to the election of a shareholder representative at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 30 October 2019 with record participation. The Board of Directors is now called upon to restore the trust and confidence of the capital markets in Meyer Burger.

The shareholder group’s request for a representative on the Board of Directors was rejected. Sentis accepts the vote of the Annual General Meeting and thanks all shareholders who supported its candidate.

According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Annual General Meeting cost around CHF 500,000, a large part of which was for the defense campaign – funds which, it should be noted, came from the company’s coffers. The Meyer Burger Board of Directors staged a real mud battle with false and defamatory allegations.

Sentis Capital has sufficient written evidence to believe that the Board of Directors of Meyer Burger has relied on the assistance of Proxy Solicitor Georgeson for the Dirty Campaigning against Sentis Capital. A very informative newspaper article on this subject can be found “here“. Such services cost six-digit amounts. The question also arises as to whether the Meyer Burger Board of Directors has additionally engaged the help of a “defense team” of an investment bank. Such defense teams cost around 100,000 Swiss francs per month. Dr. Lütolf has put the costs of the Annual General Meeting at about 500,000 Swiss francs. A normal general meeting can be held for CHF 100,000 or less. Does the Board of Directors of Meyer Burger really believe that Meyer Burger has time and financial resources to spend several hundred thousand Swiss francs on fending off a single shareholder representative on the Board of Directors? After all, the extraordinary general meeting was not about a takeover by a competitor, but merely about the election of a single shareholder representative, i.e. one in five.

35% of the shareholders supported the election of Mark Kerekes. This is a clear appeal by these shareholders to the top management to finally respond to the owners’ criticism. Sentis continues to pursue their concerns.

  • Meyer Burger must create transparency about its strategic intentions and ensure coherent communication of the company with all shareholders.
  • As part of the strategic realignment, Meyer Burger must review the organization, management duplication and cost structure.

Sentis is convinced that significant progress is needed in these two areas in order to regain the confidence of the capital markets and the confidence of the shareholders. Only then will the profit potential of the new strategy, exclusive partnership agreements with selected customers, be fully exploited.

Sentis is convinced that the new strategy can have enormous profit potential for Meyer Burger and its shareholders. Sentis will continue to accompany Meyer Burger critically and constructively in the implementation of this strategy. The Board of Directors and the CEO are challenged to deliver the results they have long promised.