Personal statement by Oskar K. Ronner regarding Nobel Biocare
Zug, 18 February 2013. In January the Board of Directors of Nobel Biocare
Holding AG published a proposal that I, as the company's largest private
shareholder, had submitted to the 2013 AGM. The proposal concerned my desire
to join the Board of Directors along with two other extremely well-qualified
candidates, so that I could contribute my knowledge of the dental implant
industry and my many years of experience in managing manufacturing companies.
I was moved to take this step because as a committed shareholder I no longer
wanted to look on passively at Nobel Biocare's predicament: for five years now
we have witnessed a dramatic downturn in all the major business benchmarks
and, consequently, in the company's share price.
With our many years of industry experience and our clear strategic and
operational ideas about turning round a listed company with a strong position
on world markets, we wanted to assume direct influence and responsibility on
the Board of Directors in constructive dialogue with the management bodies.
The spontaneous reaction to our initiative from clients, key shareholders and
the financial markets has been very positive. Concerned major investors are
waiting with increasing impatience for the once very successful Nobel Biocare
to turnaround its business.
Talks with the Board of Directors have shown that it believes it has already
initiated the measures required to effect a sustainable turnaround, and that
as a consequence results will already begin to improve visibly during the
current financial year.
The Board does not think reviewing the strategy is the priority at the moment.
As far as I am concerned, achieving profitable growth crucially depends on the
strategy being reviewed and amended with a view to regaining competitive
advantages. The first priority is to resolve Nobel Biocare's positioning
dilemma (premium segment vs. value segment).
The Board of Directors has rejected the election of my two candidates to the
Board, despite a very positive assessment following interviews, and have
suggested to me that I join and work with the Board in a way that I do not
believe would allow me to use my experience and knowledge effectively.
The position taken by the Board has prompted me to withdraw my proposal and
reject its offer of asking shareholders to elect me (but not my two
candidates) to the Board.
As a long-term investor and the largest private shareholder in the company, I
will however remain involved with Nobel Biocare and will monitor its progress
with great interest. I wish the Board of Directors much success and expect it
to fulfil its promises about a visible improvement in results this financial
year, and about resolving open strategic questions - in the interests of all
of Nobel Biocare's stakeholders.
Oskar K. Ronner
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