January 26, 2007 / 10:11 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 2-Court names former Dutch PM Kok to Stork board

(Adds hedge fund comment, updates shares)

AMSTERDAM, Jan 26 (Reuters) - A Dutch court named former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok as one of three new members of the supervisory board of industrial group Stork VMFN.AS, which faces a break-up attempt from hedge funds Centaurus and Paulson.

The Amsterdam commercial court on Friday also named former Philips Chief Financial Officer Dudley Eustace and former Akzo Nobel Chief Executive Kees van Lede as new supervisory board members.

The court tried last week to impose a truce on Stork and the hedge funds, blocking a shareholder vote to dismiss the supervisory board but also suspending Stork’s poison pill.

The new supervisory board members will have a deciding voice in matters relating to strategy, and analysts say they should seek to get Stork and the hedge funds back on speaking terms to find a solution that satisfies both sides.

“We look forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the new independent members, the current management and other stakeholders in order to achieve agreement around a future strategy for Stork,” Centaurus and Paulson said in a statement.

Stork was not immediately available for comment.

The hedge funds want Stork to focus on aerospace and shed its other divisions, arguing it is too small to compete for contracts from aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing (BA.N), which want to reduce the number of suppliers.

Stork says the other divisions — food-production systems and technical installation management — contribute to a solid financing of the aerospace business, which is crucial because aircraft programmes often run for around 30 years and only break even after a decade, which leads to fluctuating cash flows.

Stork shares were down 0.8 percent at 39.77 euros by 1001 GMT, broadly in line with Amsterdam’s mid-cap AMX index .AMX which fell 0.6 percent.

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