SAP Founders Drop Share-Pooling Agreement

By Agence France-Presse The three founders of German software giant SAP AG announced Sept. 3 they have ended a share-pooling agreement aimed at warding off a hostile takeover of the business software maker. Originally, Co-Chairman and CEO Hasso Plattner, Dietmar Hopp and Klaus Tschira, had pooled most of their stakes into a combined holding of 30.17%, voting together at annual meetings and giving each other first right of refusal if one decided to sell his shares. In fact, they actually hold slightly more, with Hopp holding 10.5%, Plattner 11.8% and Tschira 12.3%. But the founders said in a statement that they were "convinced that SAP's independence is sufficiently guaranteed, even without the pooling agreement." Nevertheless, they insisted they had no intention of significantly reducing their holdings. Last year, SAP simplified its capital structure, converting all of its non-voting preference shares into ordinary shares with voting rights. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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