New rise in tone in the struggle for control of Dia. The Luxembourg investment fund led by Russian Mikhail Fridman made public Monday that on February 27 he requested additional information about the capital increase proposed by the company's board, but that he never received a response. "Dia has not provided any details on how it intends to carry out any capital increase," reads the statement. "This highlights the great uncertainty that shareholders face when it comes to supporting these issues," he continues.
The board of directors of Dia, headed by Juan de la Cierva, and Letterone, have been facing each other for months. The managers propose to save the company, in technical bankruptcy, through a capital increase of 600 million euros secured by Morgan Stanley and a subsequent plan of sanitation to four years. The Fridman fund, with 29.1% of the shares, intends to launch an opa to take the remaining 70.9% of the shares and then undertake a capital increase for 500 million, an unviable plan according to the council.
Last Friday, the top leadership of the chain warned its shareholders that Letterone's plan can lead to the dissolution of the company. Through a relevant event sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the managers warned that there are no guarantees that the OPA will be successful and that the deadlines set by law play against this plan for the company , in cause of dissolution by having negative net worth.
Letterone, for its part, does not intend to put one more euro in the chain without a prior takeover and distrusts the agreement between the managers and the bank. It demands that the board of directors detail its proposal to reduce the nominal value of the shares to 0.01 euros and give more information about the agreement with Morgan Stanley and the reasons that led to the reformulation of the 2017 accounts and that represented a point of no return. Sources of Dia reiterated Monday that their plan is the only viable and assured that most of the information requested by Letterone is available in the annual accounts.
The managing partner of L1 Retail, Letterone's retail division and Fridman's right-hand man, Stephan DuCharme, said Monday that Dia's shareholders "deserve to know all the relevant information about the resolutions proposed by the board before the board. , especially in relation to the certainty and viability of what the council is proposing. "
Then the fund led by Fridman took out more heavy artillery: the conclusions of two reports commissioned to independent consultancies that question the management of the supermarket chain and discourage to support its refloat plan. "During 2018, the company identified accounting irregularities, mainly related to payments to suppliers and personnel costs. We have concerns about the management of the company in recent years, which led the board to replace the CEO, "starts one of the reports made this Monday by Letterone against the proposal of the board. "We recommend to the shareholders that they do not approve the administration of the Company in the fiscal year 2018", there is an abundance of one of the reports commissioned to an unknown consultant.