Leonische Drahtwerke was once considered the epitome of solid entrepreneurship. Leoni AG has been on a lurching course for years now. Your time on the stock exchange will soon be over – and the shareholders will then be left empty-handed.
One of the major automotive suppliers in Germany, Nuremberg-based Leoni AG, is struggling to survive financially. As part of a spectacular financing concept, the shareholders are to lose all their money and the company is to be taken off the stock exchange.
After the capital cut, the Austrian entrepreneur Stefan Pierer (KTM), previously one of the larger Leoni shareholders, wants to get in with fresh capital of 150 million euros, Leoni announced on Wednesday. With 708 million euros, Pierer will take on almost half of the debt from the financial creditors. The rest of the liabilities remain with Leoni.
“From the point of view of the Management Board of Leoni AG, this financial restructuring concept is the only remaining restructuring solution,” Leoni continued. The committees of the creditor banks and the federal states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, as well as the federal government as guarantor, still have to agree.
In 2022, Leoni had a turnover of almost 5.1 billion euros
If the concept is approved, the shareholders of Leoni AG will end up empty-handed. Since it is not assumed that a general meeting will approve with a sufficient majority, the concept is to be implemented on the basis of the new company stabilization and restructuring law.
With more than 100,000 employees worldwide, Leoni manufactures cable and network solutions for the automotive industry, including cable harnesses. In 2022, Leoni had a turnover of almost 5.1 billion euros. In recent years, the company has repeatedly faltered and at times had to resort to state aid. A partial sale, which should flush 400 million euros into the coffers and make a significant contribution to debt relief, fell through at the end of last year and led to the acute emergency.
The company emphasizes that it considers its business model to be solid and that the main reason for the imbalance is the high debt burden. Nevertheless, CEO Aldo Kampf left the Nuremberg company in the middle of the crisis at the end of January and dedicated himself to a new job as CEO of AMS-Osram.
Leoni had already announced the capital cut in February as a necessary solution – at the time, however, it said that the share values for the shareholders would be “largely” diluted. Now the share capital is to be completely set to zero.
The company also announced that Leoni would convene an extraordinary general meeting. As a precaution, the Management Board will report the loss of more than half of the share capital.