SLS to switch side in Stockmann battle

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The ownership battle of Stockmann looks to turn out in Hartwall’s favor.

Now, the third largest owner of Stockmann, The Swedish Literature Society (SLS) makes a turn and announces that it does not see obstacles to a merger of the two share series the company.

The largest owner of Stockmann, Hartwall Capital, wants the vote A shares and limited voting class B shares to be merged into a single series of shares, arguing that it would eventually benefit the company’s share price.

This would also change the power balance to Hartwall’s favor.

The second largest owner Konstsamfundet CEO Kaj-Gustaf Bergh has called it an attempt to hijack the company when the share price is at its lowest, and now leaves the presidency of Stockmann.

“We have in the SLS made a thorough investigation of the matter and considered it from the SLS perspective and in light of our investment policy. In principle, we are open to a merger of the share series, however, that it would be realized through a proposal prepared by the company’s board, and together with the major shareholders, ” says Swedish Literature Society president, Dag Wallgren, to Hufvudstadsbladet.

In contrast, says the Finance Council – who has the final say in how the Literature Society’s assets are managed – that the compensation for those forced to abstain vote shares is insufficient, but is “open to further discussions.”

Stockmann’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday.