Hochdorf: candidate for the board of directors withdraws his candidacy

Hochdorf: candidate for the board of directors withdraws his candidacy
Hochdorf: candidate for the board of directors withdraws his candidacy

Zurich (awp) – Helmut Bösiger, one of the candidates of the reference shareholder Newlat for the board of directors of Hochdorf, withdrew from the election a day before the general meeting of the struggling dairy producer.

Mr. Bösiger, who was one of the six new candidates proposed by the Italian Newlat, invoked “a botched restructuring plan” by the transalpine group, in a message from the Solothurn investor sent to the AWP agency. The latter considers in particular that the project is “too unilaterally oriented towards the interests of Newlat”. As proof, the sale last week by the Italian company of a 1.2% stake in Hochdorf with “a substantial profit”, he noted.

Newlat, which currently owns 9.7% of the Lucerne group, “has not considered it useful until now to react to my remarks and proposals for improving the restructuring plan”, insisted Helmut Bösiger, concluding “to draw the consequences and withdraw (his) candidacy”. The latter, however, wants to remain available for an independent director position and, if elected, to quickly restructure the hybrid loan.

Recalcitrant milk producers

At the beginning of May, Newlat proposed renewing the entire Hochdorf board of directors by electing six new members at the general meeting on Wednesday. The presidency would be entrusted to Angelo Mastrolia, to whom would be added Eduardo Montuori, Giuseppe Mastrolia, Benedetta Mastrolia, Fabio Fazzari and therefore Helmut Bösiger, now no longer a candidate, for the positions of administrators.

The Central Swiss Milk Producers’ Federation (ZMP), which owns 18% of the dairy processor, is also recalcitrant. ZMP considers that the complete replacement of the supervisory body is “not appropriate”. On the other hand, the organization shows its support for all the proposals of the current board of directors.

Newlat notably wants to invest up to 80 million Swiss francs to put the company back on track. The recovery plan will be the subject of a detailed presentation on Wednesday.

Hochdorf’s difficulties began in 2016 with the purchase of the majority of the baby food specialist Pharmalys, a stake resold in 2019 to its former owner Amir Mechria, Hochdorf’s largest shareholder (20%), suffering losses. losses. Several business reorientation plans, including expansion into the Chinese market, have failed.

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