HeidelbergCement’s Merckle raises stake

HeidelbergCement’s Merckle raises stake
Published: 23 November 2006

Adolf Merckle, a member of Heidelberg Cement AG’s supervisory board, has increased his stake in the company but it’s unclear if this will reduce the company’s free float, which would put a question mark over its listing on Germany’s MDAX index of medium-capitalization companies. 
VEM Vermoegensverwaltung GmbH, a company controlled by Merckle, increased its stake to 11.09%, Heidelberg Cement said in a financial notice published in Boersen Zeitung Wednesday. 
The company previously held a 5.14% stake, according to information published on Heidelberg Cement’s Web site in August. 
On Nov. 13, a directors dealings notification said that VEM Vermoegensverwaltung GmbH had bought 1.99 million shares in Heidelberg Cement "off-market" for EUR104.56 a share, or a total of EUR208.07m. 
VEM Vermoegensverwaltung couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. 
Merkle also has a controlling interest in Spohn Cement GmbH which owns 66% of Heidelberg Cement. Spohn Cement still holds its 66% stake in Heidelberg Cement, its managing director Werner Harder said Wednesday. 
The other major shareholder is Schwenk Beteiligungen GmbH & Co. KG, which held a 7.5% stake in August. A spokesman Wednesday declined to comment on whether it had sold shares to VEM Vermoegensverwaltung. 
Heidelberg Cement’s free float stood at 21.36% in August. A spokeswoman for Deutsche Boerse said it has no new information yet on the free float of the company. 
The proportion of a company’s shares in free float is one of the key elements determining its index listing, with a minimum requirement of 5%. 
A spokesman for Heidelberg Cement, Guenter Wesch, said there still isn’t any intention of delisting the company. 
"We take it that we will remain in the MDAX in the future," said Wesch, referring to a possible reduction in the company’s free float. 
In March, Heidelberg Cement Chief Executive Bernd Scheifele said no delisting or squeeze-out was planned.