Adieu, Farewell, Aufwiedersehen, Goodbye

By September 30, 2007Trade

From Dow Jones:

BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, is pulling its shares from the New York Stock Exchange because the costs of its US listing outweigh the benefits. Bayer, a pharmaceutical group, also plans to serve notice on the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Big Board this month, a route taken by chemical company Altana and carbon supplier SGL Carbon.

More Wall Street defections are anticipated, according to Deutsches Aktieninstitut, a lobby of German blue-chip companies. DAI president Max Dietrich Kley, who was deputy chairman of BASF when it celebrated its New York listing in the millennium year, said: “Annual costs of at least €7m are matched by no corresponding utility for many issuers.”

German exporters fear graver US liabilities than exchange listing fees. DAI cites mandatory internal control systems with the risks of SEC sanctions and proliferating US class-action suits by shareholders alleging corruption. And even delisting from Wall Street may not save companies from the widening extraterritorial thrust of US law.

The article also mentions the Stoneridge case to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court this term, which could dramatically expand the scope of class-action lawsuits. The NAM’s news release on Stoneridge and the NAM’s amicus brief are available here.

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