FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German utility Uniper SE named a new chief executive and chief financial officer with the unanimous backing of its supervisory board on Thursday in a sign of movement in a stand-off with Finland’s Fortum.
Andreas Schierenbeck, who until recently ran Thyssenkrupp’s profitable elevators division, takes over as CEO while Sascha Bibert becomes CFO after a five-year spell running E.ON’s Turkish business, Uniper said in a statement.
They replace outgoing CEO Klaus Schaefer and CFO Christopher Delbrueck, who were given notice in February after opposing Fortum’s attempt to win control over Uniper.
Fortum, which has built a 49.99 percent stake in Uniper, relaunched talks on a full takeover of the $11 billion energy group after the ousting of the old management team.
Activist investors are also pushing for Uniper to accept Fortum’s proposal, with No.2 shareholder Elliott calling on shareholders to back talks on a so-called domination agreement at Uniper’s May 22 annual general meeting.
Fortum cannot further raise its stake for the time being, after Russian regulators ruled it is limited to holding less than half of Uniper because of a strategic water testing license owned by Unipro, Uniper’s Russian unit.
That has restricted Fortum’s influence on Uniper’s strategy. Elliott’s domination proposal would need to be approved by 75 percent of investors at a shareholder meeting.
($1 = 0.8945 euros)
Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Alexander Smith