EANS-News: Balda AG / Balda's shareholders support Group's new direction

Bielefeld (euro adhoc) -

Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer/originator is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Subtitle: - General meeting approves capital framework, dividend of EUR 1.30 per share and abbreviated fiscal year
- Board of Directors unveils strategy to grow operative business
- Target: increase consolidated sales to EUR 150-200 million in medium term - CEO Dominik Müser’s contract extended to mid-2014
- Findings of voluntary special audit: no grounds to allege board members neglected duties

Bielefeld, 11 May 2012 - At today's General Meeting of
Balda AG, Bad Oeynhausen, shareholders approved a series of important motions backing the course of action the Board of Directors has outlined as part of its plans to overhaul the plastics processing company. With 62.6 % of share capital represented at the meeting, shareholders supported all proposals of the company on the agenda with a substantial majority.

Dominik Müser took up the position of CEO at the start of this year, and as announced at the Group's Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 February 2012, he today outlined the strategy the Group would use to return Balda's operating business to profitability and growth as soon as possible after a prolonged period of underperformance. The Group's aim is to increase its consolidated sales from EUR 66 million in 2011 to EUR 150-200 million within the next three years.

Speaking to the shareholders, Müser said, "Over the past few years, Balda has survived only thanks to its reserves. Regardless of the mistakes made in the past, our Medical and Electronic Products segments are two fields which, I believe, have the potential to deliver sustained and profitable growth."

Balda's Medical division, based in Bad Oeynhausen, will now focus on appropriately sized acquisitions so it can raise its international profile and expand its customer basis. The strategically important US market will initially take centre stage, and Müser announced that Balda wants to be in advanced negotiations with at least one target company by autumn of this year. Balda's target is to increase sales at this fundamentally sound segment to over EUR 100 million in the coming three years.

At Electronic Products, based in Malaysia, the Group's main priority is focused on the ongoing restructuring of the segment. Müser stated that restructuring is well on track and should be finished by the end of this year. This unit's new strategy will be to position itself in promising niche markets which combine technologically ambitious products with the potential to generate adequate sales volumes.

Balda's restructuring will also entail other changes, such as the substantial reduction in the complexity of its Group structures with the objective of cutting costs and increasing efficiency, and the complete sale of the Group's non-strategic stake in Chinese touchscreen manufacturer TPK Holding (current stake: 7.6 %). Müser emphasised that the shareholders should participate an much as possible in the proceeds generated by this divestment.

Dr. Michael Naschke, Chairman of Balda AG's Supervisory Board, announced that Dominik Müser's term as CEO, which was initially limited until 30 June 2012, had been extended by the Supervisory Board until 30 June 2014. Dr. Naschke said the Supervisory Board is convinced that Balda Group's new strategy under Müser's leadership is reliable, promising a better future for the company.

For the 2011 fiscal year, shareholders voted for a dividend payment of EUR 1.30 per share, which corresponds to total dividends of approximately EUR 77 million. This payout means that the Group's shareholders will receive prompt proceeds from the revenue generated by the partial sale of Balda's TPK's shares in February. They also approved the company's plans to shorten Balda AG's fiscal year to end on 30 June, paving the way for another General Meeting in autumn for the abbreviated fiscal year from 1 January until 30 June 2012. At this second meeting, shareholders will have the opportunity to resolve on a further dividend payment.

Balda's shareholders approved authorisation for the Board of Directors to issue bonds with a total nominal value of up to EUR 100 million, and they supported the creation of new authorised capital. These new capital frameworks are both valid until 10 May 2017, but they are primarily precautionary measures intended to provide Balda with adequate room for manoeuvre in financial issues. CEO Müser said, "These capital-related votes are key elements in securing Balda's future."

As announced, Müser informed shareholders about the findings of the investigation, voluntarily initiated by the Board of Directors, into the behaviour of the Supervisory Board and former directors in connection with the Group's efforts to sell TPK shares in 2011. Conducted by law firm Hengeler Mueller, the special audit found that there are no conclusive reasons to believe that dereliction of duty occurred and that the company is entitled to compensation from the board members in question.

Octavian Special Master Fund's supplementary motion demanding that additional special investigations be undertaken into this and other issues were rejected at the meeting.

Note for journalists:
The CEO Dominik Müser's statement at the General Meeting is available on Balda AG's website (www.balda.de).

end of announcement euro adhoc

company: Balda AG
Bergkirchener Str. 228
D-32549 Bad Oeynhausen
phone: +49 (0) 5734 9 22-0
FAX: +49 (0) 5734 922-2747
mail: info@balda.de
WWW: http://www.balda.de
sector: Semiconductors & active components
ISIN: DE0005215107
indexes: CDAX, Prime All Share
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, München, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt
language: English

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

Frank Elsner
Frank Elsner Kommunikation für Unternehmen GmbH
Tel.: +49 - 54 04 - 91 92 0
Fax: +49 - 54 04 - 91 92 29
Mail: office@elsner-kommunikation.de

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