Stop creeping takeovers and abuse of minority shareholders!

The case of a speculator/investor acquiring a 15 percent stake in Austria's leading Telecom business highlights the potential abuse of special privileges by holders of large or controlling shareholders. With just 15 percent of the shares an investor should not get any special treatment, certainly no 'coffee time' with management as he can get insights into the company strategy that are not available to other shareholders. If anything, being a holder of a large stake should come with special obligations and restrictions. Voting rights should generally be limited - Reuters had a limit of 1 percent for a long time and it did not do any harm to the company. What is particularly sad is the silence on the part of Shareholder organisations and institutional Investors. Anyone who wants to support a campaign to stop similar abuses should contact us. That holders of large - but not even controlling - blocs of shares get preferential treatment when board seats are doled out by management (this in itself is an abuse that needs to be ended as those that are to be supervised select their own supervisors) is another defect of corporate governance that needs to be ended.
(10/12/2011)

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