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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Paper: Mannesmann Board Faces Injunction




FRANKFURT, Germany -- Mannesmann AG was reported Sunday to be facing legal action from a group of its shareholders demanding the board stop trying to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Vodafone AirTouch PLC.


Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported that several Hamburg-based shareholders filed for a court injunction against the board in the D?sseldorf district court Friday on the grounds that the management was acting against their interests.


The company said it was unaware of the complaint. "We haven't seen or received it so we can't say anything about it," Mannesmann spokesman Manfred S?hnlein said.


Mannesmann chief executive Klaus Esser has completed the first week of a 14-day road show to persuade investors to reject what would be the first hostile takeover of a German firm.


He has argued that Vodafone's all-paper offer, valued at around 133 billion euros ($133.1 billion) Friday, is too low and that Mannesmann would be better off on its own.


On Sunday he said fresh talks would be of little value, after Vodafone chief executive Chris Gent told British newspapers he was hoping for further discussions this week.


The German report said the shareholders, led by lawyer Andreas Dimke, demanded Esser stop his road show and refrain from all other activities to block a takeover, for example by assembling a pool of friendly shareholders or spending company funds on media campaigns.


The legal complaint argues that Mannesmann's defense is illegitimate because German company law states the management board should take a neutral stance in takeover bids and let shareholders decide.