Metro buys out Media-Saturn co-founder

Metro buys out Media-Saturn co-founder

The founding Stiefel family sold its last stake of 2.97% in the electronics chain Media-Saturn to majority shareholder Metro for 230 million euros, significantly more than the market value of its shares. The only other stakeholder now is Erich Kellerhals, the other co-founder, with whom relations have been far from ideal.

Exit the penultimate co-founder

The Stiefel family was one of the co-founders of Media Markt / Saturn. In 2002, they insisted on getting a put option from metro, an option which they are exercising now. Yet the family is not about to disappear altogether from the company's radar, as Leopold Stiefel will continue to be active for the company as an advisor.

 

The 230 million euro for the family's stake of less than three percent would lift the total value of the company to 7.7 billion euro, more than Metro's total stock market value of around 7.5 billion. About a third of Metro's turnover derives from its electronics division.

 

Last man standing

The acquisition of the Stiefel family's shares further augments Metro's stake in Media-Saturn to 78.38%. The only other shareholder still left is co-founder Erich Kellerhals, not exactly Metro's best friend. In August 2012, Metro even went to court with Kellerhals in a quarrel about the rules by which the company should be managed: Kellerhals insisted on maintaining his veto.

 

His veto rights were agreed upon in 1988, when the founders sold the majority of their shares in Media / Saturn to Kaufman, that later merged with Metro. Kellerhals can therefore still influence most decisions, for instance concerning the launch of a new branch, the recruiting or dismissing of new directors, extending the webshop or altering the pricing policy.

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