COLOGNE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Karl-Walter Freitag confirms the representation of a shareholder group holding more than a 25% stake in Softship AG (ISIN DE005758304) and comments on the latest DGAP-News from WiseTech Global (ISIN AU000000WTC3).
The announcement of WiseTech Global Limited ("WiseTech") disseminated via DGAP-News as of 1 August 2016, for which no legal requirement can be identified, is causing the following voluntary statement to the capital market:
1. Karl-Walter Freitag still represents outside shareholders who are independent also with respect to the voting power and hold a more than 25% minority stake in Softship. Some of these shareholders - who include Rheintex Verwaltungs AG (formerly Rheinische Textilfabriken AG - founded 1910) with its interest of more than 5% - have amicably been associated with Softship for more than a decade and regard their investment as a long- term interest.
2. This group of shareholders is convinced that Softship is very well- positioned and strongly future-orientated in the market and is in the position to pay dividends - even without any closer links to WiseTech. These shareholders share Mr. Richard White's opinion, the CEO of WiseTech, that Softship represents a strong brand with excellent staff and they explicitly include the management board.
3. However, this group of shareholders believes that WiseTech's announcement a few hours after a (narrow) majority takeover is unacceptable since WiseTech does "not support the payment of dividends in the foreseeable future" (how long will the "foreseeable future" be for WiseTech?). The blocking of dividends by WiseTech ("Zero-Dividend") also would probably infringe section 254 paragraph 1 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG).
On the one hand, the final figures which would allow an assessment of the ability to pay a dividend are not known (except WiseTech has knowledge which has been kept away from the capital market). On the other hand, Softship currently holds a record liquidity from selling off its stake in Airpas, according to information given in the general meeting of June 2016. Finally, WiseTech's line of reasoning against the payment of dividends ("growth and product excellence") is not comprehensible. Especially growth companies with the highest product excellence (according to Softship currently "the worldwide leading supplier of commercial software for the liner shipping", and now only "a leading provider of software solutions for the line shipping industry" according to the German statement of WiseTech) are normally capable of paying dividends.
Karl-Walter Freitag said "To definitely establish a dividend trend once and for all in July 2016 for the general meeting in June 2017 seems to be unprofessional and less ambitious from an entrepreneurial point of view. If other objectives and intentions were aimed at by the "dividend warning", WiseTech should declare them openly."
4. The group of shareholders, represented by Karl-Walter Freitag, expects the executive management and supervisory board of Softship to definitely oppose an adverse influence possibly driven by special interests by individual shareholders to Softship's currently very successful business policy. The same applies to the dividend policy, too.
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|Company:||Rheintex Verwaltungs AG (vormals Rheinische Textilfabriken AG gegründet 1910)|
|Phone:||+49 (0)221 411411|
|Fax:||+49 (0)221 447448|
|Listed:||Regulated Market in Dusseldorf|