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Mar 15, 2016
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Stockmann shareholders vote down share issue authorisation

By
Reuters
Published
Mar 15, 2016

Shareholders in loss-making Finnish retailer Stockmann on Tuesday voted down a proposal to combine the company's two share series, which carry different voting rights.

Stockmann


At the annual general meeting, shareholders in series A, which carries 10 votes per share, were opposed to the change, while those in series B, with just one vote per share, supported it.

The vote was proposed by the Hartwall family, the owner of around 12 percent of Stockmann shares and 11 percent of votes through HTT STC Holding Ltd. The family argued the change would boost the stock's liquidity and value.

Opposed to the proposal were two Finnish-Swedish cultural foundations, Foreningen Konstsamfundet and Svenska Litteratursallsskapet i Finland, which together own 17 percent of shares but 31 percent of votes.

"We believe the company has turned a corner, and the proposal does not support current positive development... We should now focus on strengthening our business, not on changing the company structure," said Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, the head of Konstsamfundet and a Stockmann board member.

The B share fell 0.3 percent.

Stockmann, a department store and fashion chain group, is restructuring its business after earnings dropped amid weak demand in Finland and Russia. Last year, the company pulled out of the Russian market and for 2016 it expects a small profit.

The shareholders' meeting on Tuesday also turned down a proposal to authorise the board to decide on share issues.

 

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