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Business

Major Shareholder Exonerates Manager in Mannesmann Trial

In the Mannesmann trail underway in Düsseldorf, former chief executive Klaus Esser has been backed up by the firm's former major shareholder. Canning Fok, managing director of the Hutchinson Whampoa conglomerate, said he had suggested that the Mannesmann managers be rewarded by shareholders for increasing the company's value. He said it had already been decided that telecommunications company Vodaphone would takeover German mobile phone company Mannesmann. Esser, Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann and four others went on trial in January on charges of improperly approving or accepting bonuses totaling €57 million ($71 million) to executives at Mannesmann as it was being taken over by Vodaphone in February 2000. Esser received the single largest package of around €30 million.

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