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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Diminishing varieties of capitalism?

Yesterday's Handelsblatt reported that Allianz, Münchener Rück, and Commerzbank just sold their shares of MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg). Their combined holdings amounted to 25% of MAN's capital (valued at more than a billion euros), and they had held the shares for more than thirty years. "The sale [translating roughly] constitututes one more step down the road to dismantling the close relationship between financial and industrial firms in Germany," the article observes. MAN now has only one major shareholder (the insurance firm Axa), which has 5% of its shares; the other 95% are widely dispersed (= "Streubesitz"), which is more in line with U.S. conditions.
"Großaktionäre steigen aus -- MAN jetzt allein unterwegs," Handelsblatt, 13 January 2005, 1.
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