DENMARK - TDC president Henning Dyremose has defended majority stakeholder NTC's move to force minority shareholders in the telecommunications company to sell as legal, after ATP announced plans to sue NTC.
At a meeting last week, NTC – who controlled 88.2% of TDC's shares at that point – moved for a compulsory redemption of the minority shareholders by proposing an amendment of the articles of association, which was backed by 90.9% of the votes.
ATP, who owns 5.51% of TDC shares worth DKK4bn (e530m), disputed the move and claimed a shareholder holding less than 90% of a company’s shares could not lawfully effect a compulsory redemption of the remaining minority shareholders.
But TDC’s Dyremose said: “To my best knowledge NTC’s procedure is completely legal. I base this on the counselling, TDC has obtained. Therefore I also find it natural for TDC to continue the compulsory redemption.”
Dyremose also claimed “almost every legal expert” who had commented on the procedure in the media had supported NTC’s interpretation.
ATP yesterday announced plans to take legal action against NTC and TDC in a bid to prevent a compulsory redemption of ATP and other minority shareholders.
The e48.4bn fund said it still did not consider the offered price of DKK382 per share sufficiently attractive. “At this price, ATP would prefer, going forward, to remain a shareholder in a listed TDC,” said CEO Lars Rohde.
“We are reluctantly bringing this action, but ATP has a right and an obligation to seek to obtain the highest possible return on its invested capital.”
TDC’s Dyremose said he did not contest ATP’s right to disagree with NTC’s interpretation and take the legal actions,but added he was confident “one of the competent authorities” would settle the case.
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