Aldi branch in Hamburg: dispute in court
In the dispute over power at the discounter Aldi Nord, the heirs of the founder's son Berthold Albrecht suffered a defeat.
The Higher Administrative Court in Schleswig-Holstein confirmed in a decision that the current composition of the board of directors of the Jakobus Foundation was illegal.
Now two of the four positions on the foundation board have to be filled.
This would significantly limit the power of the family in the important body.
According to the competent Senate of the court, a corresponding decision by the Rendsburg-Eckernförde district supervisory authority is legal and immediately enforceable.
The decision is final.
Albrecht wanted to limit the power of his heirs
The legal dispute is about the complicated ownership structure at Aldi Nord.
The company is owned by three foundations based in Schleswig-Holstein: the Markus, Lukas and Jakobus foundations.
Large investments and important decisions can only be approved by the foundations unanimously.
In December 2017, the Higher Administrative Court declared a change in the statutes of the Jakobus Foundation to be legal, with which Berthold Albrecht had limited the influence of the family heirs on the fate of the discounter shortly before his death.
Accordingly, only two family members should be represented on the foundation board.
In addition, a person from the board of directors of the Aldi Nord group of companies and a lawyer from the company's environment are to be added.
However, the family resists it.
The board of the foundation currently consists of three daughters of Berthold Albrecht, who are beneficiaries of the foundation, and a lawyer who advises the family and, according to the court, does not meet the requirements of the foundation statutes.
According to the Higher Administrative Court, the constitutional composition of the foundation's board of directors led to its lack of a quorum.
This endangers the purpose of the foundation, which consists, among other things, of promoting the Aldi Nord group of companies with the income from the foundation's assets.
There is also the danger that the distributions to the family members decided by the foundation board will neglect this task.
Because the amount and frequency of the payments are "entirely at the discretion" of the current foundation board members and not legitimized due to the incorrect composition of the body.