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Corporate Governance – portrayed in the individual cultural and legal framework, from the standpoint of equity capital.

VIPsight is a dynamic photo archive, sorted by nations and dates, by and for those interested in CG from all over the world.

VIPsight offers, every month:
transparent and independent current information / comments / facts and figures on corporate governance locally and internationally,

  • written by local CG experts,
  • selected and structured by the Club of Florence,
  • financed by its initiator VIP and other sponsors with a background of “Equity and Advisory” interests.

VIPsight International

Article Index


VIPsight - September 2013



Munich magistrates have issued “several summons” to question “high-ranking employees” of Deutsche Bank over the coming weeks who are accused of fraud in legal proceedings and making false statements while not under oath in relation to the KGL-Pool case. Summons were also served on former bank chief Josef Ackermann. The inquiry focuses on the suspicion that not only did the bank management lie to the court in Munich in the Kirch trial, but they had conspired to do so. Deutsche Bank has not commented on the matter.

After the winning the legal proceedings to backdate the halt to the merger between Unitymedia and Kabel BW, the Deutsche Telekom seems to be victorious also in its controversy with Kabel Deutschland on the issue of the excessively expensive network tariffs. On August 28, the court in Frankfurt rejected an appeal against Telekom in which the biggest German cable manufacturer lodged a claim for some 350 million Euros. After the negative ruling handed down in the first instance by Landgericht Frankfurt, Kabel Deutschland announced that it will consider and decide whether to lodge an appeal after examining the court’s written motivation.


BaFin notes faults in the  control in Deutsche Bank

After the conclusion of the core part of a special audit on the manipulation of Libor had been reached, the German finincial affairs regulatory body, Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), officialised faults in the control procedure on the part of Deutsche Bank but stopped short of any formal sanction against Anshu Jain. Deutsche Bank employees were allegedly too lax, but there was no trace of organized crime interference at Board level. At this point in time the investigation is continuing, and the conduct of a number of bank employees is under scrutiny. The Board of Directors has supposedly nothing to fear. Last Spring, BaFin expressed qualms in a Deutsche Bank, internal investigation which, however, discharged the Board of Directors and tightened the control on Libor.  Now, Deutsche Bank joint CEO can give his answer to the foreign investigators who, by contrast to BaFin are mooting criminal procedings and demands for high-level pecuniary sanctions.

The merger of GSW and Deutscher Wohnen “could make sense”

GSW Immobilien seems to be open to the purchase offer of 1.8 thousand million Euros from Deutsche Wohnen. In the light of their growth strategy focusing on business in Berlin and the likely consolidation of their presence on the housing market, the major Berlin rental agency states that the marriage “could make sense both at operational and industry levels”.  To make it happen, Deutsche Wohnen shareholders will be required to vote for an increase in dedicated capital at the extraordinary general meeting to be held in Frankfurt on September 30. Deutsche Wohnen intends to take its rival over by a share swap, offerering 51 of its own shares for 20 of GSW’s who have stated their willingness to examine the offer. A number of issues are still unresolved but if 75% of GSW shareholders were to swap their holding, they would create the second largest stock market–listed estate agency in Germany according to Deutsche Annington with 150,000 apartments.


Siemens facing sanction threat in China

A high-ranking official of the Chinese Government body NDRC (National Reform and Development Commission) is reported to have given lawyers representing Siemens and another 30 foreign companies to understand that their interests would be best served by pleading guilty to all charges they face under Chinese law on competition. The occasion, according to the same unconfirmed, inside source, was a seminar on the antitrust law introduced in China some five years ago.

Xu Xinya states that half of the companies are already under investigation or inquiry and suggests that they plead guilty so as not to face a doubling or tripling of penalties. Furthermore, by releasing copies of letters written by companies who had cooperated with the authorities in the past, the NDRC official is believed to have shown the lawyers how to perform “self-criticism”.  It appears that there were also people present from the Ministry of Trade, and from the Authority for Industry and Trade, the government body responsible market supervision. Siemens has issued a denial that it took part in the seminar on antitrust law that was held in Chinese.


Jungheinrich: No stop to stacking

Fork-lift truck manufacturer Jungheinrich AG saw a business downturn in the second quarter of this year. Third largest in the world after Toyota and fellow German Kion, the company was hard hit by the fall in Western Europe’s demand for fork-lift trucks. Quarterly profit was 27 million Euros, some half million down on last year.

Morale in the S-Dax quoted company, however, remains buoyant with a second quarter order book up on last year by some 4%. For this reason, management is standing by its forecast confirming a stable European market. The Board is envisaging a return for 2013 similar to that of 2012. The estimated EBIT is unchanged at between 165 and 175 million Euros.

Marseille Kliniken: from health care to IT

Ulrich Marseille, majority stakeholder of Marseille-Klinik AG, seems intent on a full-scale company shake-down. Apparently, future investment will shift from providing health care for the elderly towards developing innovative software for hospitals and health-care organisations, the idea being that software and consultancy is more profitable than providing care for the elderly at home or in specialised centres.

However, the care division ought to be cut loose to prevent a conflict of interest. Consider also that the company, registered in the Entry Standard list since June 2013 after a switch in market segments, would be a direct competitor of IT giants like SAP, Microsoft and IBM.

Marseille, that presently manages 57 health-care units for the elderly, had a turnover of some195 million Euros in the 2011/12 financial year with an EBIT of just under 11 million. The holding of company founder Ulrich Marseille and his family amounts to some 60%.

Alba: less scrap iron

The current slump in the European steel market has caused a dramatic fall in the first half-year turnover of environmental specialist and raw material distributor Alba SE. The chairman of the General Standard listed company, however, points out that the EBT of approximately 5.6 million euros places the company as a market leader. Its EBIT amounts to some 11.5 million Euros.

Steel output for the first six months of 2013 dropped by more than five percent compared to the same period last year which, according to Alba, is the reason for a lower demand for scrap and lower prices. While the second half-year forecast for the steel industry is optimistic overall, Alba’s management is expecting slightly lower results for 2013 than 2012.



The German Mittelstand

Research and Development – a guarantee for competitiveness

Asia discovers its own “German Mittelstand”

“German Mittelstand” is a term coined some time ago by British investors that has subsequently been adopted in Asia as an idiom for the success story of mid-sized companies. The Institute for Mittelstand research (IfM – Institut für Mittelstandsforschung) in Bonn reports that pundits on the economic power-houses of South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China are working to identify what lies behind the German successes.

The factors involved are many and, according to the IfM , offer little likelihood of replicating elsewhere the successes reaped in Germany. The German Mittelstand has strong links with its home region, and fosters consensus-seeking relations with its stakeholders. Furthermore, there is a “whole family” banking structure embedded in the system that makes loans easy and affordable. Another secret of success must assuredly be company culture strongly characterised by rewards and support for dedication to performance, especially in family-led companies who view their employees as a source of innovation, growth and competitiveness. This is a long-term perspective by which Mittelstand companies going through hard times by and large tend to hold on to their staff. These are all factors that have no (or very little) profile in company accounts

There is, however, one item that does stand out to the investor’s eye in the accounts, and that is the amount invested in Research and Development. German Mittelstand is number one in Europe in the quest for innovation, the long-term key for growth in competitiveness and job creation.  At 12.4%, Germany’s was the highest private sector investment in 2008 for R and D among all the OECD countries where the average was 5.4 %.  Granted not every cent spend on R and D will automatically bring market success, but innovation will always be a winning factor, particularly in markets in which high-level competition has reached saturation point. The example of German Mittelstand, therefore is not only for economists in Asia, but above all for investors.





Buhlmann's Corner

German Corporate Governance reaches its teens

The Government Commission on the German Corporate Governance Code was set up eleven years ago, and now faces adolescence under a new chairman and a more transparent budget.

As Börsenzeitung correctly points out, the appointee to the chairmanship, Manfred Gentz, was one of those behind the disastrous Daimler-Chrysler entrepreneurial flop some time ago, but fairness requires that all the circumstances regarding the event be remembered in their true perspective. I well remember the lamentations of the stockholders, a number of whom saw fit to begin their weeping and wailing after the meeting had ended alea iacta est. Others even managed to gnash their teeth during the meeting, but none had the staying power to vote against the management.  Gentz – who holds a number of prestigious posts mainly outside Germany – is unquestionably one of the best men for the job. Indeed, he would probably be the best chairman to guide the Commission through a complete reorganisation of its composite members, the transparency of their functions and, lastly, in shouldering responsibility for the budget, a task which, up to now, has been restricted exclusively to the issuers.

By contrast to the first chairman of the Commission who was given carte blanche, Gentz will be judged against a much more explicit set of standards.

My own view is that the Commission on the Corporate Governance Code should resign en bloc – not only because of documented events, but also to give the Commission and its new chairman a new broom to sweep clean with. I would welcome a Commission headed by a chairman whose guidance, clout and expectances make themselves felt. Gone, hopefully, are the days when a cabinet minister stepped into the breach left vacant by lack of Chancellery interest. The Commission needs a chairman whose leadership is unequivocal in its clarity.

Naturally, the new chairman must heed all sides who have something to say, and acknowledge the importance of the investors. While ensuring that the Commission give due weight to the viewpoint of the issuers, the chair must also guide the Commission toward assessing the corporate governance of the investors. Executives are right in complaining that their corporate governances are being hobbled by increasingly restrictive rules. Investors call the tune with no need to justify their results or how they are achieved. A new mindset is needed to curtail the supremacy of the money factor; it is only right that investors contribute towards the upkeep expenses of the Commission. It is unjustifiable that the burden be borne by the issuers associated under the DAI (Deutsches Aktieninstitut) umbrella organisation alone.

Corporate governance is in everyone’s interests. My own view is that if the good Lord (and not just the German Finance Minister) had meant mankind to plant glass (in the form of solar panels) in its meadows He would have invented glass seed instead of grass seed. If corporate governance were only a matter of economics, the good people of Limburg would have no call to take to the streets against their archbishop. It is true that churches and their funds are being nudged into taking action – the Lutheran church has already drawn up a catalogue of principles. Let’s hope that the theories get put into practice before the end of the world comes.







GILDEMEISTER has launched a capital increase for cash. Present shareholders are being offered 15.4 million new shares at a ratio of four to one. From its headquarters in Bielefeld the company indicates that this corresponds to almost a quarter of the total share capital. Analysts at Close Brothers Seydler say that at 14.50 Euros the share price is lower than that of stock market trading and will be highly attractive to investors. Furthermore, GILDEMEISTER seems to be oriented away from the ratio of 13 to 3 that has been the benchmark up to now. The machine tool manufacturer aims to increase share capital to raise 210 million Euros to be used for developing business abroad.


ProSiebenSat.1 Media On August 13 the company announced that the preferred non-voting bearer stock purchased on the stock market would be turned into ordinary nominative voting stock. The transformation came into force on August 16, when the amendment to the company’s articles of association enabling the initiative was lodged with company registration authorities. Up to then, market trading had been limited to preferred stock to the exclusion of ordinary stock. The far-reaching changes to shareholder composition led to the voting rights of the KKR and Permira holding in the TV group to be halved from 88 to 44 percent.  Now that the finance companies are out, will it cross any new investor’s mind to make anything approaching a major move into ProSieben?






AGM Dates


Company Event Date Time Place Address Published on

Deutsche Wohnen AG ao. Hauptversammlung 30.09.2013 10:00 81823 München Taunustor 2, im Japan Center, Taunustor Conference-Center 20.08.2013
The first item on the agenda for the Deutche Wohnen AG extraordinary general meeting is the increase in the company’s share capital by a contribution in kind not exceeding 128.84 million Euros  ex new on the part of shareholders. This raises share capital from 168.91 million Euros to a maximum of 297.75 million Euros by issuing 128,842,101 non-par-value shares. Management is also seeking approval for a further increase in share capital ex new for cash from the shareholders for 6.57 million Euros by issuing 6,570,948 non-par-value shares.  The latter are expected to come into play as “optional new stock” to be used in the eventuality that the GSW Immobilien AG stock put up for swap is not taken up by Deutsche Wohnen AG, but instead by Deutsche Bank. Furthermore, there are a number of amendments to the articles of association still to be approved.








According to a spokesperson for the German Ministry of Transport, the ruling handed down by the Paris tribunal on the controversy surrounding refrigerating fluid in air conditioning units was not only a victory for Daimler, but it also lent weight and worth to the position of the Federal Government on the issue. Unfortunately, however, even after the court’s ruling overturning the ban on certain models of Mercedes cars circulating in France, there is still no fast and easy way out of the quagmire. The nub of the problem between French authorities and the German auto manufacturer is the use of R1234yf in car air-conditionng units. Daimler is refusing to use the cooling fluid because fires occurred  in the course of certain testing processes. Manufacturer of the fluid, Dupont, is steadfastly declaring its confidence that R1234yf can be used in automobile conditioning units. In court, Honeywell spoke of a “diversive administrative manoevre that would have a negative impact on the environment”. Until a definitive decision is arrived at, the cars must be allowed on the road.








Reinhard Wolf has been appointed to the BayWa Board of Directors, with effect from September 1. Born in 1960, the General Manager of RWA Raiffeisenware Austria AG in Vienna will be the boardroom representative for the Austrian affiliate of the largest German distributor of products for agriculture and the building trade, taking the place of Klaus Buchleitner who held the position until 2012.

The GSW Immobilien company board of supervision voted its member Claus Wisser as its new Chairman on August 8 according to a company communiqué. Three days after receiving the multi-million takeover bid by Deutsche Wohnen, GSW appointed Jörg Schwagenscheidt and Andreas Segal as Joint CEOs with equal rights.

Stefan Freyer e Henning Reinecke were appointed to the Board of QSC. with effect from September 1 according to company sources. Both are former board members of Info AG which merged with the telecommunication provider on August 6. Freyer had been head of per Outsourcing, Consulting, Infrastructure and Innovation since 2007. His responsibilities with QSC will include IT consultancy and the company business relating to Information and Communication Technology, with special responsibility for pushing forward the technical merging of IT and CT. Reinecke had been on the Info AG board since 2012 as head of distribution and marketing. His responsibility within QSC will be the growth of ICT specifically focusing on market requirements. Arnold Stender is now head of development of the Cloud QSC-Tengo family and has resigned his seat on the Board.

Volker Feldkamp has voluntarily resigned from the Board of STADA Arzneimittel with effect from August 9 and, according to the pharmaceutical company, is now otherwise occupied. The resignation was consensual and agreed on with the company Board of Supervision. Feldkamp has been relieved of his obligations under his contract which expires on December 31 2014. No replacement has been yet announced.


Software AG: A firm hand on the tiller

Karl-Heinz Streibich, Board Chairman of the TecDax listed company Software AG is staying with the company and in all likelihood will maintain his position for another five years. The board of surveillance of Germany’s second largest IT company has confirmed his tenure as CEO until 2018, banking on a continuation of stable, firm leadership. Streibich has been at the helm since 2003 and under his guidance the software specialist has more than doubled its turnover and results.

GSW: Dual control

The board of surveillance of Berlin real-estate company GSW has appointed former CFO Andreas Segal and former COO Jörg Schwagenscheidt as Joint CEOs. After the resignation of Bernd Kottman, both took a hand pro-tempore in guiding the Cdax listed group, and from now on they will direct the company jointly. GSW is a probable target for acquisition; recently, competitor Deutsche Wohnen presented a 1.75 thousand million Euro take-over bid.

Basler: broadening the non-executive board

From 2014, the non-executive board of Industrial photographic equipment maker Basler AG will have a fourth man aboard. With the addition of Hardy Mehl, newly appointed CFO, the number of board members now rises from three to four. Mehl, who has been with the company since 1999, has served in the areas of product management, business development and management. He now takes on the operational management of this Prime Standard listed technology company. At this juncture, only Research and Development, Organizational Development and Human Resources are overseen by CEO Dietmar Ley. The company reorganization plan envisages present COO Arndt Bake to be appointed to the new position of Chief Marketing Officer.








Funding of pension funds remains steady, with no sign of higher interest

Analyses by Towers Watson reveal that despite continually low interest rates, the pension obligations of DAX listed companies dipped by 0.6% to 311.8 thousand million Euros; the 2012 year-end figure was 131.8 million.  In addition, pension obligations of the MDax listed PMIs fell by 6% to 37.5 (37.3) thousand million. Asset reserves for pension payments remained unchanged at 192.1 thousand million. This increases the ratio of pension assets to pension obligations by 0.4 percentage points (61.2% at end 2012, 61.6%  at end first half year 2013). Assets of MDax listed companies amount to 16.4 thousand million Euros and the asset/obligation ratio is 43.7% (43.1%). Campus published these figures in “German Pension Finance Watch” a regular source of pension plan analyses of  Dax and MDax listed companies since 2003.  The likely continuation of this phase of low interest has prompted Towers Watson to encourage  companies to look beyond financing company pensions and review the fundamental way their pension plans are set up.

DAI set to fund the Governent Commission

Future funding of the German Code for Corporate Governance,  Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex, is expected to be additionally underwritten by Deutsche Aktieninstitut (DAI). The Chairman of the Government Commission, Klaus-Peter Müller is presently in charge of the Commission secretaryship which at some future date could find itself relocated the the DAI headquarters in Frankfurt. The plan is yet to be approved by both bodies, and could be finalized at the next meeting on September 17with the appointment of Manfred Gentz to the Chairmanship of the Corporate Governance Commission. It has been common knowlege for some time that the present chairman was due to resign but until now no one had been willing to take his place. VIP eV(Europe's first physical proxy agent in terms of assets under voting) and the Confederation of German Industries, the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) were both in favour of this new lease of life of the Commission of Corporate Governance headed by a former director of Daimler. Lobbyists agree that heightened Commission participation on the part of the economic world should lead to its rank and file granting the Commission greater acceptance. At the same time, industry is seeking greater leeway for voluntary application of the Code. DAI is mainly composed of joint stock companies and there are many past instances in which pressure groups representing capital market oriented companies adopted a stance on matters of corporate governance that was at odds with that of the government commission. It is important that DAI  rein itself in on issues of corporate governance if it is not to become a sort of alternative commission that sets itself in competition with the original. By the same token, the government commission can only have a future as a body for the self-regulation of capital market companies and be recognized by the legislator provided it is not perceived as a lobby for stock market quoted companies.

Drafting the balance sheet – few instances of amortization of the value of goodwill

Of the 127 companies registered in DAX, MDax, SDax and TecDax that post a value for goodwill in their accounts for 2012 only a fifth itemizes some form of amortization. Experts in drafting and auditing year-end company returns examine the accounts of German groups in annual research programmes conducted by the University of Saarland in Germany. It emerges that groups in the Dax listing amortized a mere 4 thousand million Euros of the value of “goodwill” – a devaluation of 1.68 %. Three thousand million Euros came from Telekom alone from business reorganization in the USA. The rest trickled down from another 23 groups.

Researchers calculated that this was equivalent to a duration of usage of 200 years while once upon a time goodwill was amortized over 15 years. The reason for this shyness in amortizing a company’s immaterial worth seems to stem from drafting accounts in accordance with the principles set forth in the IFRS  (International Financial Reporting Standards) set of international rules that do not provide for a planned amortization period but only a yearly impairment test.






Capital News

Solarworld: second chance

Stakeholders in beleaguered Solarwords AG approved a far-reaching restructuring proposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting in early August, thus saving the one-time solar market high-flyer from insolvency. This initiative put a lot on the line; slashing debts involved reducing 150 shares to one, and after recapitalization by contribution in kind, the old shareholders will remain ex new and only hold five percent of the Prime Standard listed company. Bond creditors had already accepted a voluntary 55 percent reduction of their credit.

All told, investors lost 95% of their investment. On the other hand, after this recapitalization initiative the CEO and company founder intends buying a stake in the company worth 20 percent with 10 million Euros of fresh money. Qatar Solar is planning to purchase 29% of the company for 35 million Euros, thus becoming the largest single stakeholder, and is also prepared to furnish a 50 million Euro loan to give even more breathing space to the German solar panel manufacturer.

CEO Asbeck is optimistic and sees no need for company reorganization. And yet the solar panel market is still on tenterhooks. The European Union has closed its contention with China for now by a compromise solution that to European observers is heavily loaded in favour of low cost Chinese competition.

HanseYachts: Oceans of money

General Standard-listed HanseYachts AG concluded an increase in capital in mid August with subscription rights of almost five million Euros. The yacht builder issued 2.5 million non par value shares for 1.92 Euros each, thus raising the company’s share capital from 7 to over 9 million Euros. This should enable the company based in Greifswald on the Baltic coast to enhance its own capital resources. In July, the company announced the sale of the Marina Yachtzentrum tourist port in Greifswald.






Director's Dealings


Company Person Function Buy / Sell Total value in Euro Number of shares Date
BASF SE Diekmann, Michael AR K 130000 2000 07.08.2013
Bayer AG Dekkers, Dr. Marijn VR-Chef K 515760 6000 15.08.2013
Bilfinger SE Enenkel, Joachim VR K 34839 475 23.08.2013
CANCOM SE Neureiter, Petra AR V 242456 10000 08.08.2013
CANCOM SE Neureiter, Petra AR V 584389 25000 09.08.2013
COMMERZBANK AG de Buhr, Gunnar AR K 3740 500 08.08.2013
COMMERZBANK AG Engels, Stephan VR K 19958 2500 14.08.2013
DEUTSCHE BANK AG Campelli, Fabrizio
V 482849 14757 21.08.2013
V 1315610 29971 21.08.2013
DEUTSCHE BANK AG Grassie , Colin
V 1076635 32655 21.08.2013
DEUTSCHE BANK AG Ricken, Dr. Christian Klaus
V 224838 6750 22.08.2013
DEUTSCHE BANK AG Folkerts-Landau, David
V 1511266 45630 30.08.2013
Deutsche Lufthansa AG Spohr, Carsten VR K 59061 4000 05.08.2013
Dialog Semiconductor Plc. Weber, Peter AR V 53680 4000 20.08.2013
Dialog Semiconductor Plc. Weber, Peter AR V 54120 4000 21.08.2013
Dialog Semiconductor Plc. Weber, Peter AR V 42390 3000 22.08.2013
Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA Henriksson, Mats VR A2 870813 13800 02.08.2013
GEA Group AG Kämpfert, Michael AR V 8315 265 13.08.2013
GEA Group AG 2-gather GmbH
V 273316 8500 16.08.2013
GEA Group AG Heraeus, Dr. Jürgen AR-Chef V 198932 6200 16.08.2013
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA von Braun, Dr. Kaspar AR V 323835 5000 13.08.2013
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA von Braun, Dr. Kaspar AR V 420941 6484 14.08.2013
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA Henkel, Christoph
A1 0 110000 21.08.2013
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA Henkel, Christoph
A1 0
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA Henkel, Christoph
A1 847725 15314 26.08.2013
K+S AG Lohr, Dr. rer. pol. Burkhard VR K 108976 6000 13.08.2013
K+S AG Nöcker, Dr. Thomas VR K 54980 3000 13.08.2013
K+S AG Sünner, Dr. Eckart AR K 108600 6000 13.08.2013
LPKF Laser & Electronics AG Bentz, Kai VR V 95900 7000 05.08.2013
LPKF Laser & Electronics AG Lange, Bernd VR V 270270 20020 08.08.2013
SAP AG Wiele, Christian AR V 6642 116 23.08.2013
SAP AG Wiele, Inga AR V 5276 92 26.08.2013
SAP AG Klein-Magar, Margret AR V 7529 132 26.08.2013
SAP AG Rosa-Bian, Mario AR V 7456 130 27.08.2013
Wacker Chemie AG Eisenacker, Anton AR V 15660 200 23.08.2013





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M & A


Dresdner Factoring: New majority

The majority shareholder of Dresdner Factoring, registered in the German stock exchange General Standard list of companies, is now abcfinance. Indeed, abcfinance Beteiligungs AG increased its stake in Dresdner Factoring to 81% at the end of August. Now, under the umbrella of abcfinance – itself part of the Werhahn group that sets itself as a market leader in leasing and factoring for PMIs – Dresdner Factoring should gain vigour, and this move in particular will give Dresdner Factoring, whose aim is to be the only German factoring company listed on the Stock Exchange, a new leasing division. Based on the 2012 results, the two companies are expected to produce an annual volume of factoring of some 1.6 thousand million Euros.

Hess: the lights are still burning

Hess AG has found a new investor. The company made front-page news for alleged fraudulent bankruptcy (see previous Vipsight). On 1st October, Dutch lighting manufacturer Nordeon will take over the business activities and all necessary assets of Hess, a General Standard listed company specialized in the manufacture of external luminaires. According to Hess, the asset deal format of the transaction is a life-line for the survival of the Villingen-Schwenningen plant and the jobs of the 180 remaining employees. Nordeon has also acquired the plants in Scandinavia and the US. The deal emerged from a project of future joint development with Hess management and the bankruptcy receiver. Neither company has revealed the price of the deal.