DENMARK: Carlsberg eyes M&A with planned ownership changes
The changes are designed to boost the "financial flexibility" of the group
Carlsberg is aiming to make M&A opportunities easier to pursue with proposed changes to its ownership structure.
The Carlsberg Foundation, the group's main owner, has asked Denmark's Justice Ministry to allow it to remove a rule in its charter that says it must own more than 25% of the group. The foundation currently has around a 30% stake in the group.
Flemming Besenbacher, the Carlsberg Foundation and the Carlsberg Group's chairman, said the move is a “logical step” to allow the brewer to “adapt and continuously develop the business”.
Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, the Carlsberg Group's CEO, said the change to the charter will boost the “financial flexibility” of the group.
He added: “We don’t have any plans for capital increases or major structural changes, but in the event that value-enhancing opportunities arise, we can pursue these more easily with the changed charter.”
Rasmussen said the group is also planning a more “explicit” dividend policy in which dividend pay-outs will equal at least 25% of adjusted net profit.
The foundation, which has owned the group since 1888, said a rule that it must hold at least 51% of the voting rights for the group will be kept.
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