SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp apparently regulates his inheritance. This also affects his Curevac stake. The eighty-one-year-old IT pioneer, known to many as a patron of the TSG Hoffenheim football club, announced on Friday that he would take over his investment company Dievini completely “as part of the planned asset succession plan”. Bernd Freytag business correspondent Rhein-Neckar-Saar based in Mainz. Hopp has bundled his biotech companies into the company, into which he has invested several hundred million euros over the years. Apart from the Hexal heirs and today’s Biontech major shareholders, the brothers Andreas and Thomas Strüngmann, the billionaire was for a long time the only one who financed young German biotech companies on a large scale. The most important stake in his holding company today is the Tübingen vaccine developer Curevac, which has not yet been able to present a market-ready corona vaccine. Hopp’s family is to take over Dievini completely in the future, three other managing partners will give up their shares and receive shares in Curevac in return, as announced by Dievini and the Federal Ministry of Economics as a further Curevac financier. The three departing shareholders would continue as managing directors.
Renegotiation of a contract with KfW
As part of the new regulation, Hopp also renegotiated the investor contract with the state-owned development bank KfW, which had invested 300 million euros in Curevac shortly before the IPO in summer 2020. Hopp now has the right to sell Curevac shares for up to 450 million euros by mid-August, according to a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. So far it was a maximum of 250 million euros. A Dievini spokeswoman describes the volume only as a theoretical size. Specifically, Hopp only wants to sell so many shares that he can finance the conversion of Dievini into a pure family holding company. Neither Hopp nor the Federal Republic of Germany planned any further sale of shares. Hopp holds 46 percent of Curevac, almost 42 percent of which is held by Dievini. He has been involved in the biotech company for more than 15 years and at times held 90 percent of the shares. Curevac did not attach much importance to the sale of shares when asked. “This is a purely technical process,” said a spokeswoman. This has no influence on the business strategy or the cooperation with the pharmaceutical giant GSK. Both manufacturers are working on a second-generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
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Dievini remains the largest Curevac shareholder. Already in autumn there was a first Dievini report to the SEC that they were thinking about selling part of the Curevac shares. However, investors reacted nervously to the announcement. The company’s price fell significantly on the New York technology exchange Nasdaq at the start of trading on Friday, at times more than 9 percent.
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