Germany’s Fielmann to Transfer Stock as Part of Succession Plan

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HAMBURG, Germany—Gunther Fielmann, founder, principal shareholder and CEO of Fielmann AG (ISIN: DE0005772206) as well as founder and sole member of the management board of the Fielmann Family Foundation, announced that he is transferring stock to prepare for succession to keep the control of the company, one of the largest optical retailers in Europe, with the Fielmann family.

In the course of implementing his plans for the company to pass down through the generations, Fielmann will transfer 24.52 percent of the shares in Fielmann AG from his shareholding to the Fielmann Family Foundation, meaning that the Fielmann Foundation will receive a holding of 51 percent in Fielmann AG. This measure will permanently secure decisive influence and management responsibility over Fielmann AG for the Fielmann family, the company said.

To “future-proof” the structure of the shareholding, as the company put it, the Fielmann Family Foundation will be the main shareholder in a family holding company in which the majority of the Fielmann AG shares will be combined. The family holding company is to hold 55 percent of the Fielmann AG shares in future. As part of implementing the concept, Gunther Fielmann’s children, Marc Fielmann and Sophie Luise Fielmann, to whom he has transferred shares in Fielmann AG and the Fielmann Family Foundation will hold stakes in the Lutjensee family holding. With 92.5 percent of the votes, the Fielmann Family Foundation will obtain the decisive influence over this family holding company.

The total shareholding attributable to the Fielmann family will not change as a result of this measure and neither will the shares attributable to Gunther Fielmann who will still have 71.31 percent.

Fielmann is to maintain his role as CEO of Fielmann AG and remains responsible for sales, marketing and human resources. The transfer plan will be implemented in stages in accordance with German regulatory requirements, the company noted.

Fielmann currently operates 667 stores, of these 570 are in Germany, 32 in Switzerland and 31 in Austria. The company reported sales of €1.23 billion in 2011.