March 25, 2019 / 7:45 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Russian investor ups pressure on Swiss solar firm Meyer Burger

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ZURICH, March 25 (Reuters) - Meyer Burger Technology’s largest shareholder Sentis Capital on Monday said it was creating a website for other investors as it pushes for changes at the money-losing Swiss solar machinery maker at its upcoming annual meeting.

Sentis, controlled by Russian billionaire Petr Kondrashev and owner of 7 percent of Meyer Burger shares, has been seeking to shake up the Swiss company’s board and management, saying the company needs to break with “the disastrous past”.

Kondrashev, among other demands, wants the Thun-based solar engineering group to consider raising cash for initiatives including in-house production of its own solar cells, as it seeks to stabilize a business that has posted seven consecutive full-year losses.

“We call upon all shareholders of MBT to exercise their voting rights at the next Annual General Meeting on May 2, 2019, in the spirit of a shareholder democracy,” Sentis said in a statement. “This is the only way to create the pressure on MBT’s Board of Directors necessary for a genuine restart.”

The website is www.changemeyerburger.ch/en/.

Meyer Burger, whose products include equipment to cut and manufacture solar cells, did not immediately comment. Its shares have fallen 85 percent over the last five years. (Reporting by John Miller)

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