Meinl European Land Limited

euro adhoc: Meinl European Land Ltd.
Strategic management decisions
HL: Purchase of Meinl European Land certificates in the best commercial interest of both the Company and its shareholders and in compliance with all legal requirements Utl.: ...

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Company Information


Jersey, 29 August 2007

Responding to investor concerns, Meinl European Land wishes to clarify the following:

Information about purchase of certificates disclosed in the Prospectus since the IPO

MEL has issued Prospectuses in connection with its capital markets activites that were reviewed in detail and approved by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA). The Prospectuses specifically and publicly make clear that the Company may at any time purchase certificates, and that the market maker (Meinl Bank AG) has been authorised to acquire certificates for the Company´s account at any time. There was no obligation either under the laws of Jersey or under Austrian law to disclose the purchase of certificates other than in the course of normal regular company reporting.

MEL´s true value considerably higher than the price at which certificates were purchased

There were two main reasons for purchasing certificates. First was that the Company´s management - in line with international analysts´ price targets of up to EUR 28 - considered the underlying value to be considerably higher than the value in the market during the first half of the year. Second was that there were at the time - and currently still are - plans to take on board strategic partners that will contribute to a sustained increase in the Company´s growth. For these reasons, Management has no intention to dispose of the purchased certificates at less than the average purchase price (EUR 20.43), since the underlying value continues to exceed the purchase price in the Company´s judgement.

Process of purchase of 88.8 million certificates correct and in compliance with all laws

With the publication on 23 August 2007 of the report for the second quarter of 2007, MEL has announced the purchase of a total of 52.3 million certificates as per 30 June 2007. The average purchase price was EUR 20.78 per certificate. Prior to a disclosure in its next regular quarterly company publication, MEL reports that a further 36.5 million certificates have been acquired at an average price of EUR 19.93 during the third quarter up to today´s date. Of the total of 88.8  million certificates, 83.9 million were acquired through the Stock Exchange and 4.9 million were acquired over-the-counter at prices equal or close to the quoted prices at the time. At no time did the Company acquire any certificates from Meinl Bank AG, from its affiliates or from any Meinl Bank funds. No preferential treatment was given to any individual investors willing to sell at any time.

Solid shareholders´ equity and high level of liquid funds

Funds totalling EUR 1.8 billion were used for the purchase of the Company´s certificates. In the Group accounts these amounts are deducted from shareholders´ equity and do not affect the profit and loss account. After such deduction, the Group´s shareholders´ equity amounts to EUR 3.1 billion. The Company has sufficient liquid funds, amounting to EUR 1.6 billion, to finance further growth. These funds are invested conservatively, held in interest-bearing bank accounts, or invested in highly rated government bonds or bank bonds, both of short maturities. MEL´s investments do not include any securities of Meinl Airports Investment Limited or Meinl International Power Limited.

MEL takes shareholders´ concerns very serious and introduces stronger measures for corporate governance, transparency and communication immediately

MEL has reacted to shareholders´ concerns and has resolved to introduce with immediate effect permanent changes with respect to corporate governance, transparency and communication. As a first step, MEL voluntarily undertakes to announce from now on any further transactions in certificates on a weekly basis in arrears, whereby in accordance with shareholders´ approval no more than a total of 90 million certificates will be purchased. Rupert-Heinrich Staller, a renowned capital markets expert specialising in shareholder activism and corporate governance, has been given the responsibility to ensure implementation of these changes as Meinl European Land´s capital markets representative. The changes also include the introduction of a performance-related fee structure which will be discussed with shareholders and submitted for approval to the next General Meeting.

Meinl European Land - a highly successful company with outstanding prospects

MEL´s results for the first half of 2007 underline its continuing excellent performance. Profit after tax rose by an impressive 127% to EUR 113.0 million. Year-on-year, the property portfolio increased by 42% to EUR 2.3 billion. Since the upward trend in operating performance continues unabated, the Company maintains its view that the underlying value of the business is substantially higher than the average purchase price of the certificates it holds.

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ots Originaltext: Meinl European Land Limited
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Further inquiry note:
Pleon Publico Public Relations & Lobbying
Mag. Claudia Müller-Stralz
Tel.: ++43 (0) 1/717 86 107

Branche: Real Estate
ISIN:      AT0000660659
WKN:        066065
Index:    Standard Market Continous
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market

Weitere Meldungen: Meinl European Land Limited

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