With a 15 percent stake in German auto supplier Leoni, KTM president Stefan Perer has become the most important major shareholder. Leoni is in the middle of the restoration process.
In the ranking of the richest people in the world, it fell “only” at 2263. Its $ 1.3 billion assets still allow KTM president Stefan Perer to make purchases in Germany. As it became known, the Upper Austrian motorcycle manufacturer Pierer Industrie AG increased its stake in the ailing German automobile supplier Leone. The new old shareholder announced Monday evening that increasing the stake from ten to more than 15 per cent and strengthening the position as major shareholder were aimed at signaling support for the company’s strategy adopted by the franc.
Pierer is majority owned by Pierer Mobility (KTM) motorcycle manufacturer and racing supplier Pankl Racing. The news boosted the value included in the SDax Small Business Index. The newspaper Leoni increased by more than twelve percent over the course of the day.
Losses for two years
Leonie wants to break away from the smaller wiring and cable division and focus on the larger wiring system division, but ultimately he clearly deficits. The group is in the middle of the restructuring phase. Aldo Camper, president of Leonie, believes that the company is on the right path out of the crisis. However, according to his own statements, the supplier will not be able to exit the red this year. Leoni made a net loss of € 330 million in the last financial year. In 2019, the minus was 435 million euros. The renewal program should generate savings of 550 million euros from 2022.
Perrier is now demanding more speed from Leoni’s board of directors in the renewal process. “The board of directors has rightly begun to transfer parts that are not part of the core business into a professional M&A,” Perrier said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The Industrial Cables Division is currently under bid. The Leoni has gotten huge and a little out of focus, and there are many parts that you won’t need in the future that others might need better. This is how you can form a strong, compact company. ”Leonie incurred losses two years ago and tried unsuccessfully to sell the WCS Cable division as a whole. Instead, the individual parts are now being sold.
Meanwhile, motor electrification and digitization are turning the auto industry upside down. The pandemic’s landing should give the industry a tailwind again, opening up significant opportunities for Leoni Network business on board.
The areas previously provided by the management team around Aldo Camper account for about a third of the business, according to Perrier, who did not want to specify whether that would be sufficient. Basically, it supports Board Member Kamper’s strategy, even if it needs to be improved upon.
Perrier only raised his stake in Leoni from five to ten percent in February and announced shortly thereafter that he was planning to take on an “active role” as a major shareholder in Leoni in the future. At that time, he also did not rule out buying more shares. Perrier said his involvement is now an order of magnitude “where one can move about safely with the board of directors.”
(“Die Presse”, print edition, April 14, 2021)