Stollwerck squeeze-out on hold

- Last updated on GMT

The world's top cocoa processor, Swiss-based Barry Callebaut, said
on Tuesday that it had suspended efforts to take full control of
chocolate maker Stollwerck after minority shareholders in the
German firm filed a lawsuit against a proposed squeeze-out.

Swiss-based cocoa processor, Barry Callebaut, said this week that it had suspended efforts to take full control of chocolate maker Stollwerck after minority shareholders in the German firm filed a lawsuit against a proposed squeeze-out.

The company acquired 96.10 per cent of Stollwerck shares through its German subsidiary Van Houten Beteiligungs in August last year.

The following month, the subsidiary issued a mandatory public offer to buy the remaining shares of minority shareholders of Stollwerck for €295.00 per share. When the public offer expired, Van Houten Beteiligungs offered to pay the minority shareholders a cash compensation of €295.00 per share so that the shares could be subsequently delisted.

Barry Callebaut​ stressed this week that Stollwerck would contest the lawsuit and that it regretted the delay caused by the 'rescissory action'.​ But the company remains determined.

"Not a single squeeze-out has been ultimately blocked by these legal challenges,"​ said the chairman of the board of Barry Callebaut, Andreas Schmid.

Despite the action from the minority shareholders, the cocoa-processing giant confirmed that integration of Stollwerck is 'proceeding on track and should be completed in the summer of 2004.'

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