Henkel has no plans to break up, its chief executive told a German newspaper, adding the German consumer goods group’s current structure gave it enough flexibility to grow.
Industrials groups around the world are grappling with shareholder pressure to reduce their complexity to create value and get rid of conglomerate discounts, leading some, including General Electric and Thyssenkrupp, to restructure.
“These trends and debates come and go. But we are generally sticking to our three business areas,” Hans Van Bylen told Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview.
“That translates into stability and balance. At the same time, all three areas have freedom and a clear focus on their markets and customers,” he added.
More than 61 percent of Henkel’s ordinary shares are owned by members of the Henkel family share-pooling agreement, making it less vulnerable to attempts by activist shareholders to push for change.
“We are very happy about that. The family is pursuing a long-term strategy. This provides us with stability to develop the group on a long-term basis,” Van Bylen said.
By Christoph Steitz
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