August 18, 2017 / 12:36 PM / a year ago

Pfeiffer Vacuum board member resigns amid shareholder pressure

FRANKFURT, Aug 18 (Reuters) - German pump maker Pfeiffer Vacuum’s supervisory board member Wolfgang Lust has resigned, the company said on Friday, bowing to pressure from rival and shareholder Busch Group, which has been seeking a board reshuffle.

Pfeiffer has been resisting efforts by its spurned suitor Busch Group to increase its influence on strategy after amassing just over 30 percent of the shares. Supervisory board chairman Michael Oltmanns resigned on Aug. 7.

“After the resignation of..Oltmanns...Dr. Wolfgang Lust also resigns,” Pfeiffer said in a statement, adding Lust’s resignation was effective from Oct. 25, the same date as Oltmanns.

Family-owned Busch said on Friday it would immediately ask a court to appoint family member Ayla Busch, whom it wants named new supervisory board chairman, and former Pfeiffer Chief Executive Wolfgang Dondorf to the supervisory board.

“We are very pleased with the outcome, and I am now looking forward to committing myself as Supervisory Board Chairman to develop Pfeiffer Vacuum further,” Ayla Busch said in a statement.

Pfeiffer makes pumps used by manufacturers including semiconductor firms and makers of analytical devices such as electron microscopes. Busch describes itself as one of the world’s largest makers of vacuum pumps, blowers and compressors supplying all industry sectors. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Susan Thomas)

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