"If you have 25% of the voting rights of a German company, it is not possible to make important decisions without your okay. Is there the same in the USA? And at what level?"
-My abbreviated answer is, I don't know...but, if not answered better by someone else before I get back from seeing family over the holidays, I'll try to get a better answer for you.
There are many aspects to the answer... for example, Berkshire stock, as you may know is broken into two classes of stock (others are as well) BRKA is the A share and BRKB is the B share. The B share is economically worth 1/30 the A share, but has only 1/200 of the voting rights... So, the answer in their example is different for which share(s) you own...
And then there are poison pills, like usg has in place. If you're not familiar w/them, these are generally instituted to protect opmi's (outside passive minority investors) with adversarial control investors who might pay a small premium over, say, current share price as opposed to what mgmt believes the true enterprise value to be. The poison pill gives mgmt the right to issue additional stock to opmi's w/a triggering event like buying a certain % of stock w/o agreement from the board.
When neither multiple classes of stock are involved, nor poison pills, Generally, I believe you need 51% control (either by purchase or others voting w/you) to expedite the process of nomination/election of directors...management changes, mergers, purchases, etc.
But, even in these instances,some companies have staggered terms of directors to slow a takeover w/o mgmt approval...
None of the above keeps "raiders" or activists like Icahn for example to try and enlist other shareholders in joining them in actions to build short-term value by spinning off subsidiaries, for example, with far less than 51% ownership...
Hence my inability to give you a hard-and-fast answer...
I hope others improve on my answers or correct them...otherwise, I'll get back to you in about a week.
there are some companies in Germany which are as well privately held as also market leaders in their business (e.g. Bosch). There is a historical difference to companies in the US or the UK in the question of going public. So here the Knauf situation is not uncommon. To keep a company within the family is in most cases like a family law for generations. Knauf exists in this way since more than 75 years.
Is there the chance that they want to sell? And that the purchase of USG shares is a part of a deal?
It is possible, but I think it's unlikely.
The only point is that until now they found no manager in their family to take over the responsibility. But according to newspaper comments I read, it's more a question of time, that a family member will be CEO. And a temporary or permant external management is often the case. Then a family member is the chairmen of the supervisory board.
I would not bet on an indirect USG takeover by BRH.
If you have 25% of the voting rights of a German company, it is not possible to make important decisions without your okay. Is there the same in the USA? And at what level?
Thanks for your help.
The Knaufs seem to have a low profile. I was just curious as to whether there were any similarities to Stef Wertheimer and his family business, Iscar....
As we've seen, Buffett wants to build in the international marketplace and Knauf would seem to fit the template and fit with his existing holdings. Knauf being privately held adds to the mystique.
But, I may be reaching a bit. If you see anything on your end regarding same, would appreciate your ideas.
I also tried to get informations about Knauf and possible plans. Unfortunately without real results.
Also the German financial newspapers haven't reported about the purchase of USG shares.
Knauf and USG have a joint venture in Germany, called Knauf USG Systems.
Up to now Knauf is managed by two Knauf cousins. From start of the year an external manager will take over the management, the cousins will take the supervisory board.
Knauf 2007 figures:
5,5 billion Euro turnover
150 branches in 40 countries with 22.000 emploxees
they do not report result figures and and are not open to give informations to newspapers,...
I haven't been able to find much about Nikolaus Knauf and the two Knauf families that control Knauf.
Any insights about them would be most appreciated.... particularly as it might pertain to usg
Seasons greetings and thank you in advance.
I fully agree with what you wrote!
Meanwhile USG is my third largest position and the only US company in my portfolio. That shows how positiv I am regarding the future.
Kind season greeting from Northern Germany to all!
bsmitham, : (
your incorrect statements are not very nice and deserve a strong response. BUT -
i am so sorry i got to you enough to start you quoting einstein... WOW yr easy...
still, why not explain your bold statments (that are wrong), instead of making great quotes...
please let me know where i'm wrong, i told you...
sincerely sorry for not being too nice with it yesterday. today ok?
but no tips for you...
i did give you the best info on wb avg price, no?
go ahead and admit it , no biggie , be a man or woman.
just back it up... or stop the bs... better yet read the rights offering, oh yeah you need a copy...
have a great day!
It is you who are partially right and wrong and not very nice about it.
"If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is keeping your mouth shut." - Albert Einstein