Düsseldorf It has been two and a half years since Karl-Erivan Haub set out on a ski tour on the Matterhorn glacier and never returned. The search for the managing and personally liable partner of the Tengelmann Group has been discontinued. His wife still hasn’t had him pronounced dead.
A bitter dispute divides the heirs. The question is who should raise the inheritance tax of around 450 million euros and who will be on Tengelmann’s advisory board in the future. The supervisory body watches over the group with more than 90,000 employees, eight billion euros in sales and investments in companies such as Obi, Kik, Tedi, Zalando and Delivery Hero.
Two weeks ago, the three family lines met in a shareholders’ meeting in Mülheim an der Ruhr and agreed on two of the three candidates for the advisory board. After that, Thomas Ingelfinger, board member at Nivea-Group Beiersdorf to take over the chairmanship. Astrid Hamker, the president of the CDU economic council and partner in the facility service provider Piepenbrock, was appointed as the second adviser.
Both had been suggested by the missing man’s brothers – Christian and Georg Haub. Ingelfinger had two weeks to choose a third advisory board from among the people suggested by Karl-Erivan’s wife Katrin.
Katrin Haub named the supervisory board member of Deutsche Börse, Barbara Lambert, and the financial advisor Carl-Thomas Epping. Until then, there is consensus in the representations of the family lines. On the other hand, they differ on the question of whether the family of the missing person should have named a third advisory board. Finally, the family of the missing person presented a third candidate, their lawyer Ralph Drouven.
The proposal for an agreement is also controversial
“We very much regretted that the selection process originally agreed in the group of shareholders was torpedoed by the Cologne family line initially denying that a third candidate had to be presented at all, and then one day later to nominate their own trial lawyer instead of an experienced entrepreneur. That was an affront and it should be, ”says Mark Binz, Christian Haub’s lawyer.
Karl-Erivan’s family countered. “Mr. Lawyer Dr. As a long-standing business lawyer, Drouven meets all the requirements for membership in the Advisory Board of the Tengelmann Group. His work as a legal advisor does not prevent it from being named. ”On the subject it said:“ The former legal advisor to Mr. Georg Haub was also a member of the Tengelmann Group’s advisory board for over eight years.
Advisory Board Chairman Ingelfinger sees himself in a tricky position between the fronts of the family lines. He wrote to the shareholders that he would serve the company most of all when he declared himself unable “to make a decision that – regardless of how it turned out – could always be interpreted as if I had parted with a shareholder dispute that has been smoldering for years let both sides collect it, so take sides. That would be incompatible with my role as the independent chairman of the advisory board. ”
Last Thursday, Mr. Ingelfinger explained the exact opposite to the Karl-Erivan Haub family. Statement by the Karl-Erivan Haub family
Instead, Ingelfinger wrote, he had a different proposal. If the family couldn’t agree on a third candidate for the advisory board, Ingelfinger would choose one. Should the shareholders “be able to agree that he could find, nominate and appoint a candidate himself within a reasonable time, he would not avoid this task.”
Mark Binz, Christian Haub’s lawyer, informed the Handelsblatt that Christian and Georg Haub would agree to Mr. Ingelfinger’s proposal. The brothers would accept Ingelfinger’s “decision unconditionally.”
The other side sees it differently. Why should the family members around Katrin Haub agree to a procedure in the search for the last member of the advisory board in which she has little influence? The family was “surprised and irritated” about Ingelfinger’s statements, according to a statement.
“Last Thursday, Mr. Ingelfinger explained the exact opposite to the Karl-Erivan Haub family: Both of the candidates named by the family are ideally suited for membership in the advisory board, and he will probably choose Mr. Epping as the third advisory board member. This is the statement made by Mr. Ingelfinger – after the Karl-Erivan Haub family gave lawyer Dr. Drouven had named as the third candidate – then repeated again last Sunday in a video conference in a larger group. ”
It is open how it continues. Lawyer Binz told the Handelsblatt that an agreement should be reached this year. “I fear that the DIHK President, who is otherwise responsible according to the statutes, will take a lot of time in order to be able to make a decision that is as legally sound as possible in a professional process and after hearing all shareholders, in particular the chairman of the advisory board.” That could take a while.
More: Heirs dispute at Tengelmann: Christian Haub presents billions in offer