Stork hoists the white flag

As the management will stay in place after the proposed takeover by Candover Investments, one has to ask why the buyout should be necessary in the first place.
Will the shareholders get full value and is it not a conflict of interest when existing management is involved in buyout or merger discussions?
The campaign by 'activist' shareholders Centaurus and Paulson has not succeeded in the stated aim of breaking up the company to 'realise shareholder value'. But it has driven management into the arms of a white knight and resulted in a sizeable short-term profit to the two funds.
It is questionable that these two funds - which together controlled 33% of the outstanding shares - should be allowed to have such a large role in the future of a company. While the company has been built up over a long period and should plan with a time horizon of years funds such as Centaurus or Paulson can be in and out of the stock at the push of a button and have no responsibility to employees, customers or the other shareholders.

Tax regime should be neutral

Politicians never stop tinkering with the tax code. Has this ever been designated a form of obsessive behaviour by the medical community?
A case in point are the latest proposals for the taxation of investment income and capital gains in Germany.
We do not want to go into technical details but suffice it to say that the proposals are the result of a non-participatory form of democracy that is prevalent in Western Europe.
So-called political elites and technocrats representing the lobbies with an interest in the matter have produced legislation that will be far from neutral in its effects on business and the way the citizen invests his money.
As matters stand, investment in pooled vehicles of various kinds will be at an advantage and investors that hold shares in individual companies and want to manage their portfolio will be penalised.
This is contrary to the interests of wider share ownership and shareholder democracy.