Harvard Law School Forum Highlights Olshan Client Alert on the STADA Arzneimittel Proxy Contest and the Activism Landscape in Germany
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, a top online resource for discourse on corporate governance, recently highlighted the client alert from Olshan's Activist & Equity Investment Practice Group titled "A Review of the STADA Arzneimittel Proxy Contest and the Activism Landscape in Germany." The client alert discusses Active Ownership Capital (“AOC”), an activist investment company that takes minority positions in undervalued companies in Western Europe and the Nordics, and its small but significant victory in a proxy battle waged against STADA Arzneimittel AG (“STADA” or the “Company”), a publicly listed pharmaceutical company based in Germany. AOC, the owner of between 5% and 10% of the capital stock of STADA, sought to replace multiple members of the Company’s Supervisory Board at its 2016 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”). While AOC was only successful replacing the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the AGM, this event garnered significant media attention given how rare proxy contests are in Germany. A review of the STADA situation reveals that there may be various avenues available to a shareholder holding a relatively small ownership interest in a German listed corporation to influence management and, if necessary, to run a proxy contest. Steve Wolosky, Andrew Freedman and Ron Berenblat authored the client alert which can be viewed here.