Michelin to Withdraw Stomil from WSE


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

French tyre concern Michelin is set to withdraw shares of its subsidiary Stomil Olsztyn from public trading. Michelin, unable to resolve an ongoing conflict with Stomil’s minority shareholders, managed to increase its shareholding in the Polish company from 70 to 99 percent in May through a voluntary buy-out offer. It has also announced another offer at the beginning of June to assume the whole stake in the Polish company.
Michelin has been battling the company’s minority shareholders, a coalition of Polish pension and investment funds, since 2000. The Polish investors accused Michelin of siphoning off funds from Stomil, selling tyres through its network at artificially low prices, and assuming the rights to use Stomil’s flagship brands on foreign markets for much below their actual value.
Pressed by the other shareholders, Michelin warned that the prolonged conflict might bring about redundancies in Stomil and it would be forced to freeze all investments in Poland. In March 2002, both sides agreed to ask an independent auditor, Deloitte & Touche, to prepare a report on Michelin’s Polish subsidiary. The report, published in spring 2003, did not help much to reconcile the French tyre maker with Polish investors. It proved, though, that the accusations by the minority shareholders had been groundless: Michelin did not depress the prices of Stomil products and acquired the company’s little-known brand names at their market value. The Polish shareholders remained unconvinced though, questioning the report, which left Michelin no other option but to terminate further cooperation with them.
Tomasz Jurewicz

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