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Fresenius and his problem with the temple

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WActually hat with Dax set Fresenius Come here? Since Stefan Storm began CEO in July 2016, the stock has performed worse than almost any other stock in the DAX: While the leading index meanwhile has gained a good 50 percent, Fresenius shares have lost 50 percent of their value. This week, the devastating development was also the subject of public meetings: Fresenius and its subsidiary FMC called shareholder meetings.

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For more than a year, there have been public discussions about the group structure in Bad Homburg, which previously only took place in the markets. sturm She first addressed the structural issue at a press conference in February 2021 and a year later gave an interim case report. There have been, and still are, considerations about what role the Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), Kabi, Helios and Vamed divisions will or should play in the healthcare group of companies in the future.

Is discussion really necessary?

Capital market insiders see the chairman of the supervisory board as the driving force Wolfgang Kirsch, who ran DZ-Bank until 2018. The debate “is not coming out of the storm. The pressure is coming from Kirsch,” says an insider who knows both the group and Sturm. The company heard different things about the role of Sturm. It is indicated here that the CEO himself initiated the structural debate. In fact, Kirsch would have preferred it if Storm had not made the corporate structure a public issue so early on. However, the Chairman of the Oversight Committee fully supports the strategy. Senior manager Sturm commented on his approach in an interview with FAZ this week: “One could argue whether it was necessary to enter into this debate.” However, investors have brought up the topic time and time again. So he “put himself into a discussion that was already going on”.

Where this discussion ultimately leads is not as clear as before. Sell ​​divisions or not? If the answer is yes, which one? Whole or in parts? directly or in stock trading? These questions have been surfacing ever since. CEO Sturm remains somewhat vague: It’s about open considerations, he likes to say. He notes that they take a long-term approach and that the group structure has “served great over the years”. and “what is seen suspiciously by equity investors is viewed very favorably by patients, clients, regulators, and lenders.” In other words, conglomerates like Fresenius are generally not well received by investors, but others are well received.

Don’t miss the opportunity to grow

However, for management, it all comes down to one thing: do not miss any opportunities for growth, especially not due to lack of financial strength. It’s about, as it is lyrically described on corporate headquarters, allowing a “calf” to grow into a bigger, stronger, and healthier “bull”. “If appropriate, then gladly with the partner who brings the right center forage and perhaps also suitable larger pasture on which the calf can grow splendidly.” So ‘sales mandates’ won’t be issued, as they say, it’s always about growth and boosting.

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