Wednesday, 19 April 2000
As we reported on April 7, Peter Johansen - founder and former owner of Martin Professional - has been sentenced to three months in jail by the local court of justice in Aarhus, Denmark. Johansen, through an intermediary, has now contacted us to offer his version of events. He says that the ruling followed his attempt in the spring of 1999 to block the possibility of a hostile take-over of Martin Professional, 15 months after he left the company as CEO. "Martin was under threat after a long period of unrest, which had driven down the value of the Martin stocks. I tried to top up my 25 percent stock-share to 33.33 percent to be able to block the board from selling to hostile bidders. To avoid further unrest, I decided not to publish my intentions. I did not want the market to get the false impression that I was trying to pave my way back as CEO of my old company."Shortly after the attempt, which did not succeed, Johansen sold a major part of his stocks to Schouw & Co - the present owner of Martin Professional. The sale gave Johansen a marginal profit and whilst the court of justice acknowledged that there had been no motive for profit in his actions, the ruling states that he should have informed the Copenhagen Stock Exchange about his acquisitions. Johansen has decided to appeal against the sentence.