After insinuating the senior positions that Santander wanted to relieve the CEO, the board of directors denies it and asks for “unity”
Merlin Properties, one of the main Spanish real estate firms, is experiencing a tinderbox with uncertain results. This Monday night, when for hours the forced replacement of its CEO, Ismael Clemente had been practically taken for granted, he finally managed to obtain sufficient support to continue in office, at least in the short term.
According to a note released in the afternoon by the management team and endorsed by its 185 employees, the company “does not deserve abusive and feudal behavior on the part of minorities”, who would seek to exercise majority control of the firm “stealing their shareholders from the rest of the shareholders. participation in decision-making and thus saving the payment of the corresponding premium. According to sources consulted, Banco Santander, which controls 22% of Merlin, intended to replace Clemente.
In the statement, headed by the corporate general director, Miguel Oñate, the “unconditional support” of the signatories was expressed “loud and clear” for the founders of the company, Ismael Clemente, and Miguel Ollero, who together with David Brush and some other executives made this project come true from scratch in 2014. ” And they added that “if any shareholder wishes to control Merlin, they will have to make the corresponding public offer and pay the fair market value.”
In this situation, the subsequent meeting of the board of directors – where Santander has three of the 13 seats, in addition to having appointed the president, Javier García Carranza – promised to be tense. And it was during the more than three hours that it lasted. In the end there was a certain peace, at least outside the door, and they wanted to appeal to “unity.”
In a statement sent to the CNMV, the board speaks of “mutual respect” in the company, although it acknowledges the existence of certain internal problems – which it does not specify – when it states that it has decided to “implement precise mechanisms and concrete measures to achieve a management in accordance with the best governance of society ”. And he adds that they do so “in the interest of Merlin and all of its shareholders.”
However, it tries to find an external culprit in the press by “rejecting the content of some news” and, “in particular”, some “disqualification against shareholders and directors.” All this came after Merlin’s price fell 6.3% this Monday, below nine euros per share in its biggest loss since May 2020.