DUESSELDORF, Germany, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The founder of Europe’s biggest electronics chain Media-Saturn wants two senior executives to step down from the company, he said on Tuesday, the latest chapter in a long-running dispute with majority owner, retailer Metro.
Media-Saturn’s billionaire founder, Erich Kellerhals, still owns a stake of close to 22 percent and has regularly clashed with Metro over its management of the business, most notably over the group’s move into the fast-growing online market.
Kellerhals’ investment firm Convergenta said in a statement it wanted Media-Saturn finance chief Oliver Seidl and former procurement chief Klaus-Peter Voigt to leave the company.
Metro said Convergenta’s actions were “incomprehensible”.
Convergenta said a meeting of Media-Saturn shareholders in December had decided not to extend the contracts of Seidl, Voigt and personal chief Ralph Spangenberg beyond the end of 2015. Spangenberg has since left the company.
Convergenta accused Media-Saturn management of trying to side-step that decision by setting up an alternative leadership team that included Seidl and put Voigt in a new role as executive vice president.
A Media-Saturn spokeswoman declined to respond. Metro said Seidl had an unlimited contract.
Kellerhals has long tried to push out Media-Saturn chief executive Pieter Haas, who is also a Metro board member.
Last week, Convergenta said Media-Saturn needs an urgent capital injection and called on majority owner Metro to inject some proceeds from recent asset sales. Metro said it did not believe a capital hike was necessary.
$1 = 0.9205 euros Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Katharine Houreld