Weng Fine Art : Submits Counter-Motions on Board Composition at Artnet AG General Meeting – Marketscreener.com | Candle Made Easy

Artnet AG (Artnet) is one of the leading marketplaces, media and data companies in the global art market. Together with its founder Rüdiger K. Weng, Weng Fine Art AG (WFA) holds more than 26% of all Artnet shares and retains negative control over this company. Next to Galerie Neuendorf AG is the WFA Largest shareholder of Artnet. WFA is currently planning to further expand its previously announced stake in Artnet.

WFA considering Artnet Assets (Brand name, website traffic, privacy, online auction tool) are very valuable in today’s art market when all this is monetized by an experienced management team in the best interest of the company. WFA’s goal with its investment in Artnet is to comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation between both companies.

At the request of the WFA, Artnet will hold its Annual General Meeting for the 2021 financial year August 26, 2022. At this general meeting, the board of directors must be re-elected. To the surprise of the WFA, Hans Neuendorf, who would be 88 at the end of his term, was again nominated by Artnet management as a candidate for the Board of Directors.

In the opinion of the WFA, the incumbent Board of Directors, in particular Hans Neuendorf, was not in a position to carry out its management and control duties impartially and objectively. For more than ten years, the father (as chairman or member of the board of directors) “controlled” his son (CEO) while at the same time being employed (and highly paid) as a consultant at Artnet. Among other things, this one conflict of interest had adversely affected Artnet’s economic ability to develop and grow as the business model should allow.

Overall, Artnet contributes a group loss of almost $53 million, which has grown since going public in 1999 could not pay dividends 23 years to its shareholders. Since the IPO in 1999, the Artnet share, which was initially offered for EUR 46, has has fallen by more than 80% and is now only at about 8.50 EUR. For the past two decades, Artnet management has destroyed company value instead of increasing it.

Artnet recently (delayed) released its annual report for fiscal year 2021 and its interim report for first quarter 2022. Thanks to US government support in 2020, Artnet reported consolidated earnings of $2,193,000 in 2020 but in 2021 a group loss of 941 TUSD had to be shown. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, the loss was already 786 thousand USD. WFA expects the results will continue to deteriorate during the second quarter.

Artnet’s practices of Allocation of key functions in the company only to family members is excessive and not based on merit or performance. In addition, despite his already above-average remuneration as a board member, Hans Neuendorf has a “consultant fee” of approximately EUR 3 million in the period from 2012 to 2022. In addition, he received more than EUR 400,000 in board fees during this period, while at the same time Artnet -Shareholders did not receive EUR 1 in dividend payments.

In the interests of its shareholders, the WFA a countermotion the Artnet shareholders’ meeting and proposes Mr Rüdiger K. Weng, joined Artnet as a member of the Board of Directors in place of Hans Neuendorf to ensure operational efficiencies, halt capital outflow and provide roles to unqualified family members. Furthermore, Mr Patrick kiss is appointed as a substitute member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Weng and Mr. Kiss have focused at WFA over the past few decades on optimizing shareholder value and improving company transparency, while never losing sight of the company’s long-term goals.

After his later election to the Artnet Board of Directors, Rüdiger K. Weng would immediately support the discussions on the Reorganization and financing of Artnet. According to the analysis of the WFA, Artnet will only be able to master the increased challenges and become profitable with the help of financially strong partners and an experienced management team. It is also very important to WFA that Artnet adheres to the principles of “Good Leadership” and the management team follows its corporate governance in best interests of all shareholders and not exclusively in the interest and well-being of the Neuendorf family.

The WFA hopes that Artnet shareholders will provide broad support for the reorganization of their company and that as many shareholders as possible will attend the general meeting and agree to Weng Fine Art’s counter-proposal.

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