Hospodárske noviny, 11.3.2013 EN


The state sold the Union stock



The state got rid of its share in the commercial insurer Union. All the shares that were owned by the National Equity Fund until were now bought by the majority shareholder of Union a.s., Achmea.

Achmea also owns the private health insurance company Union zdravotná poisťovňa, which should be expropriated until 2014. Exactly these plans may be the reason for the steps taken by the Dutch company,

Achmea has owned 95% share in Union until now. The rest belonged to smaller shareholders, one of them also being the NEF. "The only purpose of the purchase was to simplify the management structure," the spokesman of Achmea Bert  Rensen explained he company's steps.

Attorney Jana Martinková confirmed that management of a company with a single shareholder is much easier.

However, there can be another reason. "Maybe Achmea doesn't have trust in the Slovak state it used to have years ago, so they don't want it to be a part of their business." Martinková was referring to the endeavor of our government to get private health insurers off the market.

Achmea began to buy stock from NEF last year. Prime Minister Robert Fico then began to talk about having a single insurance company on the market. In the time that the Ministry of Healthcare began to actively work on it, Achmea already had 161 shares bought from the NEF. They bought the last one last month. "It was stock that the NEF had acquired via a gratuitous transfer - donation from the citizens," Miriam Žiaková, the spokesperson of the Fund explained. Presently the Fund does not hold any shares in Union. Should the NEF not have sold the shares to Achmea, it could be ordered to do it by court.

Achmea exercised its r ight that the Securities Act gives to it as the major shareholder.

It is understandable that Achmea as the majority shareholder wants to not only have the sole decisive authority, but by using the "squeeze-out" institute it also gets rid of the minor shareholders who sometimes "complicate the life". For example they may require information through courts , they can challenge the validity of General Assembly's resolutions... Why should the majority shareholder face the risk of disputes, when they can solve this issue elegantly by purchasing of the shares", Martinková said.

The state sold the Union stock, Achmea , advokátka Jana Martinková, Advocatus Martinková s. r. o.