Swiss Steel’s capital increase faces opposition

The majority of Swiss Steel’s shareholders have approved the proposal for an ordinary increase of share capital, Kallanish learns from the steelmaker.

The proceeds of around €200 million ($246m) from the increase will be used to strengthen the equity of the group and to improve its existing financing and credit terms, it says.

The capital will be lifted from around CHF 304m ($344m) currently to CHF 459m through the issuance of slightly more than 1 million new registered shares with a par value of CHF 0.15 each. Some 67% of the shareholder capital represented gave their approval to the plan.

Reportedly, the plan was tabled by main stakeholder Martin Haefner who owns BigPoint Holding AG. Heafner has committed to buy all shares not taken up by other shareholders at the minimum price of CHF 0.21.

Shortly after the announcement, Swiss Steel’s second-largest stakeholder, Liwet Holding of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, filed to block the capital increase at the regional commercial register office.

In a reaction statement, Swiss Steel says that Liwet Holding’s action lacks any basis and is contrary to the interests of Swiss Steel and its other shareholders and employees. The company maintains that it will defend itself with all appropriate legal remedies against “…the irresponsible actions of Liwet Holding AG and its representatives.”