Auden AG: Letter to our Shareholders
Berlin – 2. May 2017
Dear Shareholders of Auden AG,
The past weeks have been turbulent and marked by a number of events which have significantly depressed our share price. This being the case, we would like to take this opportunity to provide you with current information on business developments within Auden AG and its portfolio companies, as well as to make a clear statement of our position as to several recent market rumours and comments.
To begin with, we would like to plainly state what is, from our standpoint, of most importance: The operating performance of Auden AG, and each of our portfolio companies individually, is at or above plan.
The rumours and supposed “analyses” of our company, and the associated downward pressures on the market price of our shares, have come as an incomprehensible surprise to us. None of these authors has spoken with Auden AG, or with the founders or management of our portfolio companies.
In addition to this speculation that the companies within our investment portfolio are not performing satisfactorily – which does not by any means correspond to reality or observable facts – we have been repeatedly asked to identify the specific investors who subscribed to our most recent capital increase. In order to comply with German law as well as our company’s bylaws, we will not disclose, either now or at any time in the future, further information about our investors beyond the disclosures required by law, thereby respecting the privacy rights of our investors. Further to this issue, we would like to say this: The placement of share subscriptions through third parties is customary and usual, not only to simplify the technical execution of such transactions but also to provide institutional and other investors the anonymity to which they may be entitled.
Several weeks ago, we published our financial outlook for full-year 2017, in accordance with German law. This financial outlook does not yet include any potential gains from the planned public offering of our portfolio company ViaLight.
We have, moreover, considered whether the recent weakness in our share price might have something to do with the troubles experienced by the Kilian Kerner fashion label. The objective fact in this matter, however, is that Auden AG closed down this fashion business in June and July 2016 and wrote off its net asset value to EUR 0.00 (as can be easily verified from our financial statements for the first half of 2016). Since the fashion business was closed down, it has not incurred any further expenses, and the legal entity is inactive. Further to this subject, it is essential to note that the entire process of restructuring and closing down the Kilian Kerner fashion business was financed through a portion of the 2015 capital increase in the amount of EUR 2.5 million. It has always been important to the Executive Board that all new money invested during 2016, down to the last euro, is invested into the new Auden AG and to building the new investment portfolio.
As far as the individual portfolio companies are concerned, the business model of Auden AG, as a source of capital for start-ups in the series A phase, does not entail daily or weekly reporting on its portfolio holdings, either to the exchange or to the general public. Particularly during the growth phase of such companies, financial figures and other company data are generally well-guarded secrets which are not publicly disclosed, so as not to provide sensitive company information to competitors.
As an active investor, Auden AG is, of course, in constant contact with the management of its portfolio companies and receives regular detailed reports on the financial performance and business developments of each. These reports allow us to closely monitor each individual portfolio holding.
Whatever the causes may be, we very much regret the decline of our share price in recent weeks, and the effect this has on our shareholders, particularly in view of the fact that this in no way reflects the operating performance, internal processes or external business environments of our portfolio companies.
Please be assured that all of us at Auden AG and at each of our portfolio companies will in the future, as in the past, continue our hard work and commitment, thereby generating renewed value for all of our shareholders.
We thank you for your continued support.
The Executive Board