Winterthur, Switzerland -- Rieter announced 20 March that it had concluded a loan agreement for medium- and longer-term financing with a group of banks.
The automotive acoustics specialist said that, with the signing of this agreement, the sale of 420 000 Rieter shares to PCS Holding AG, of Weinigen, Switzerland, announced on 16 Feb 2009 has been executed. PCS Holding AG is wholly owned by Peter Spuhler.
Rieter Group said in January that it saw a "decline in demandthat was unprecedented in its intensity and rapidity," in the 2008financial year. Orders in 2008 dropped by 37 percent compared to 2007, largely in textile systems,which saw a 68 percent drop, while automotive orders were only 14percent down. A 20-percent decline in consolidated sales to CHf 3142.5million ($2718 million) was less steep than the drop in new orders, thegroup said.
Spearately, Rieter announced on 24 March nominations for four new board members, from industrial investors and companies with substantial holdings in the Rieter share capital.Rieter's board of directors commented that it "appreciates their readiness in such a difficult economic environment to take strategic responsibility for the Rieter Group," in this way.
Michael Pieper, owner of the Franke Group (Aarburg), a global kitchen systems specialist, owns 7.6 percent of Rieter's share capital via a holding company. This Schneider is board delegate and ceo of Forbo Group (Baar), a global leader in flooring, bonding and belting systems, which holds more than 10 percent of the Rieter share capital.
Hans-Peter Schwald, a partner with a Zurich law firm, has long-standing experience as board member with various industrial corporations, including the Stadler Group. Peter Spuhler is majority shareholder of Stadler Rail AG, a Swiss manufacturer of rail vehicles. Spuhler is chairman and CEO of Stadler, and via his finance company PCS Holding AG, he holds about 17 percent of the Rieter share capital.
Rieter said all four candidates have extensive industrial expertise in the strategic realignment of large corporations and in market globalisation. "They will certainly play an important role in shaping the future of Rieter," the company added.