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German court limits Aldi heirs' company control in family legal drama

Europe
07.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Schleswig, Germany (dpa) - A northern German court has restricted the influence of heirs to the Aldi discount grocery chain in a drawn-out legal battle involving one of Germany‘s richest families.

The court in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein on Thursday overturned a ruling under which the family members of Aldi Nord co-owner and German billionaire Berthold Albrecht had more power over the future of the company.

At the centre of the legal strife are Berthold‘s widow Babette and his brother Theo Albrecht Jr, who are battling for influence over three foundations that control company operations.

Shortly before his death in 2012, Albrecht made changes to statutes to reduce family influence on the foundations.

Under the first ruling, Babette Albrecht and her children won their bid to have the billionaire‘s statute changes voided on a voting formality.

Aldi Nord is controlled by three foundations and important company decisions can only be made all three institutions.

After Berthold‘s death, family members began a battle for control of the Jakobus Foundation, which owns 19.5 per cent of Aldi Nord.

The statute changes involved in Thursday‘s decision limited the decision-making power of family members at the Jakobus Foundation.

The company legal battles involve one the largest family wealth accumulations in Germany, with just Theo Albrecht Jr‘s net worth estimated at 8.2 billion dollars, according to Bloomberg‘s Billionaires Index.

The family company was split into Aldi Nord and Aldi Sued in 1961, with Nord operating in northern Germany and Aldi Sued in southern Germany. Thursday‘s cases involve only Aldi Nord.

 

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