The AIXTRON Share
Share Price and Volume Graph for AIXTRON SE from 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2016
- NASDAQ Composite
AIXTRON’s Share Price Performance
The biggest factor affecting the share price of AIXTRON last year was the intended takeover of the company by the Chinese backed Grand Chip Investment GmbH (GCI). This was set against stable fundamentals for AIXTRON, which resulted in a solid development in terms of both orders and earnings.
Concerns around slowing global economic growth driven by low oil and commodity prices as well as soft growth in China led to a weak start to the major world stock indices in 2016. Against this backdrop, the AIXTRON share price reached a 2016 low of EUR 2.95 (USD 3.06) on February 8, 2016. With the publication of FY/2015 results in February 2016, Management provided full-year 2016 guidance of stable revenues and improved earnings and free cash flow compared to 2015. Management also stated that they expected a stronger second half of the year compared to the first half, all of which gave positive support to the stock price.
On May 23, 2016, the announcement of GCI to launch a takeover bid for AIXTRON at an offer price of EUR 6.00 in cash per share, helped push the share price to EUR 5.56. During June and July 2016, the share price remained relatively stable and increased on the publication of the takeover offer document on July 29, 2016. On October 6, 2016, GCI lowered its minimum acceptance threshold for the takeover offer from 60% to 50.1%. Consequently, the acceptance period was extended by two weeks. In anticipation of a successful deal, the AIXTRON share price reached a 2016 high of EUR 5.84 (USD 6.55) on October 14, 2016.
However, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy withdrew on October 21, 2016 the Clearance Certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung) which had originally been approved on September 8, 2016, and reopened the review proceedings for the acquisition. On December 2, 2016, the President of the United States issued an order prohibiting the acquisition of AIXTRON’s United States business by the bidder. Following these events, the share price fell significantly and on December 8, 2016 GCI announced the withdrawal of the takeover offer due to the non-fulfillment of the offer condition to obtain necessary regulatory approvals. The AIXTRON share price ended 2016 at EUR 3.10 (-24.9% year-on-year) in Germany and USD 3.06 (-29.8% year-on-year) in the US (versus 2015 closing prices of EUR 4.13 and USD 4.36), resulting in a market capitalization of close to EUR 350 million. In contrast, the TecDAX® Index decreased by 1.0% from 1,830.7 points to 1,811.7 over the year and the NASDAQ Composite® Index increased by 7.5% from 5,007.4 points to 5,383.1 points at the end of 2016.
AIXTRON shares are listed on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. On December 20, 2016 AIXTRON announced the intention to voluntarily delist the Company’s American Depositary Shares (ADSs) from the NASDAQ® Global Select MarketSM as well as to terminate the Company’s ADS Program in order to reduce complexity as well as the costs and efforts associated with maintaining a dual listing. The last trading day on the NASDAQ® Global Select MarketSM was December 30, 2016. On January 9, 2017, AIXTRON filed a Form 15F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to deregister. On that day, the delisting became effective and the Company’s reporting obligations under the Exchange Act of the United States terminated. AIXTRON expects that the delisting of the Company’s ADSs and deregistration will have limited impact on the ordinary shares listed in the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
On December 19, 2016, AIXTRON shares were excluded from the TecDAX® index for the first time since the index started as the free float market capitalization was too low, following the substantial reduction of the AIXTRON free float to around 22%. This figure reflected the acceptance of the takeover offer by about 78% of the AIXTRON shareholders. This resulted in a lower position in the ranking list, which led to the exclusion from the TecDAX® index following the fast exit rule in December 2016. With the withdrawal of the GCI takeover offer, the free float of AIXTRON shares has now increased again to previous levels and as a result, when the next TecDAX® index review takes place at the end of February 2017 the Company could again be reinstated onto the index.
Despite the voluntary delisting in the US, AIXTRON will continue to regularly publish press releases and key financial figures informing shareholders and the capital markets on the current status, market environment and perceived outlook for AIXTRON’s business. The information will continue to be publicly available in German and English on the Company’s website at www.aixtron.com. Please note that AIXTRON does not routinely print and circulate its annual report due to environmental reasons. Instead, AIXTRON offers an online report which is available directly via the Company’s website, providing additional functionalities for shareholders.
In addition, AIXTRON regularly participates in many major investor conferences and road shows in the world’s most important financial centers. At such conferences, AIXTRON hosts discussions on current financial results, strategies, products, as well as industry and market trends with institutional and private investors, journalists and financial analysts.
Due to the previously described takeover transaction process between May and December, AIXTRON reduced its Investor Relations activities during 2016. As a result, AIXTRON logged only around 26 man-days interacting with the financial markets through Company visits, individual meetings, investor conferences and road shows worldwide, conducting close to 100 personal discussions, calls and teleconferences with financial markets players. The Investor Relations department constantly maintained an active dialogue with stake- and shareholders. AIXTRON remains fully dedicated to providing accurate, timely and relevant information on both the Company’s own direct business and general market developments to shareholders and the capital markets. In addition, AIXTRON commits to compliance with the principles of good Corporate Governance. During 2017, the company intends to increase its investor relations activities again.
At year-end 2016, a total of 19 financial analysts (2015: 32) based in Europe commented on the Company on a regular basis as part of their official coverage of the stock.
About 300 shareholders attended AIXTRON’s Annual General Meeting which took place on May 25, 2016 in Aachen/Germany. AIXTRON Management provided them with a comprehensive report on the status and prospects of the Company.
As of December 31, 2016, private individuals held approximately 17% of AIXTRON’s shares, most of whom are located in Germany. Around 83% of the outstanding AIXTRON shares are held by institutional investors. According to the latest announcement on voting rights, AIXTRON’s largest shareholder in 2016 was Argonaut Capital Partners LLP, Edinburgh, UK, holding around 8% of AIXTRON stock. 100 percent of the shares were free float, according to the definition of the Deutsche Börse.
At year-end, the following investors had equity shareholdings in AIXTRON SE exceeding the 3% reporting threshold (according to public filings or voting rights announcements, pursuant to Section 26 (1) of the German Securities Trading Act/WpHG):
// Argonaut Capital Partners LLP, Edinburgh, UK, 7.7%
// Baillie Gifford Overseas Limited, Edinburgh, UK, 5.2%
// Camma Holding sarl, Luxemburg, Luxemburg, 5.0%
// Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Paris, France, 3.1%
// Vanguard International Growth Fund, Wayne, USA, 3.0%