Pilkington Holding GmbH: court decides on minority shareholdings

The Bavarian Supreme Court has ruled in the appeal brought by Pilkington Holding GmbH, a German subsidiary of the UK“s Pilkington plc, and certain minority shareholders in the company concerning the …

The Bavarian Supreme Court has ruled in the appeal brought by Pilkington Holding GmbH, a German subsidiary of the UK“s Pilkington plc, and certain minority shareholders in the company concerning the valuation of minority shareholdings. In 1989, Pilkington Holding GmbH (then Pilkington Deutschland GmbH) made an offer to acquire the minority interests in Pilkington Deutschland AG (then Flachglas AG) and Dahlbusch AG. The decision was challenged by a section of minority shareholders who described the offer as inadequate. In the case of Pilkington Holding GmbH, the Supreme Court has decided to reduce the amount payable per share from EUR 350 (as determined by the court of first instance) to EUR 344 per share and, as requested by Pilkington Holding GmbH, the decision of the court of first instance will be upheld in all other material respects. The cash settlement payable, amounting to approximately GBP 40 million, will be capitalised as Goodwill. The payment will be completed by the end of the current financial year. The company said that nearly half of this amount is already accounted for on the group“s balance sheet as “Non-equity Minority Interest“ (debt under IFRS). The balance of the payment is in respect of additional interest accrued from 1989, as noted under “Contingent Liabilities“ in the group“s report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2005. Meanwhile, the court dealing with the related Dahlbusch AG case said it would await the above decision and issue its verdict in early 2006.