Laurus faces new action by shareholders

Dutch grocer Laurus is under further pressure from a shareholder, who claims that there was mismanagement of the business prior to and including its deal with Casino last summer.

The dissenting shareholders, led by Eric Albada Jelgersma, were initially defeated after their allegations and demands to reverse the Casino deal were rejected by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in December.

But Jelgersma has upped the ante and is demanding a further investigation by the Enterprise Chamber of the Court of Appeal.

Jelgersma alleged that Laurus directors took unnecessary risks when they rebranded the 800 stores to Konmar in 2000.

The change proved to be a failure and plunged Laurus into financial crisis until Casino bought a 39 per cent stake last June.

Jelgersma was against the deal because Casino has an option to increase its stake to 55 per cent, which could result in the French retailer having a controlling stake in Laurus.