Based on an ad hoc announcement, Grenke AG called this morning for a media conference that was scheduled at short notice.
Due to the severe crisis of the company and the still good ratings, the development is receiving special attention. The questions discussed included possible personnel changes on the Executive Board. The interviewed Antje Leminsky, Chair of the Board of Directors of GRENKE AG, and her CFO referred to the Supervisory Board. This corresponds to stock corporation law in Germany and is a normal process.
At the same time, however, it must be stated that the board of directors does not give any hope that the founder of the company, Wolfgang Grenke, might rejoin the company to ensure orderly conditions. Wolfgang Grenke turned 70 on February 3, 2021. If you follow the example of American presidents, it is not yet an age to leave the fate of your life’s work entirely to the younger generation. Therefore it would have been an important signal that the company’s board of directors could be certain of the support of the founder.
Wolfgang Grenke’s personal financial situation is certainly so secure that in a financial sense the development of the company he founded is no longer important for him personally. The following diagram shows eight important holdings by Wolfgang Grenke. His company shares range from 20% to 79.53%. Each of these companies in turn has shares in other companies, sometimes together with companies in which Wolfgang Grenke also holds shares:
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Mazars’ interim report
According to Mazars’ interim report, no findings have been made that cast doubt on the legal validity and economic substance of the lease contracts with outstanding receivables of around EUR 5.6 billion. According to the report, the allegation of money laundering has also not been confirmed. Generally, there is no systematic need for goodwill impairments on acquired franchises. According to the report, the valuations are justifiable despite methodological deficiencies.
Mazars’ report also contains significant points of criticism. For example, Mazars considers it necessary to consolidate the franchise companies. The report also criticised the failure to disclose related parties in previous annual financial statements, the procedure of parts of GRENKE Bank’s customer lending business, and the money laundering prevention process. The report also contains the already known findings in the areas of internal audit and compliance.