Antje Leminsky, CEO of the Baden-Baden leasing company Grenke, shaken by allegations of fraud, gives up.

She will leave the company at the end of June after eight years on the Management Board, including three years as CEO.

The supervisory board and Leminsky have agreed to leave, it says in a statement.

The reasons for their departure are of a personal nature.

Bernd Freytag

Business correspondent Rhein-Neckar-Saar based in Mainz.

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    Henning Peitsmeier

    Business correspondent in Munich.

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      Leminsky is quoted as saying that it is the ideal time for them to hand over the office and “accept a new challenge”.

      It refers to the unqualified balance sheet report for 2020 received from the auditing company KPMG and the "now completed regulatory audits".

      However, the notification does not state that the group does not want to publish the entire audit report of the auditing firm Mazars commissioned by the financial supervisory authority BaFin.

      A spokesman referred to data protection and the trade secrets listed in the report.

      In his words, Grenke wants to make excerpts available to the public.

      According to its own information, BaFin itself is not allowed to disclose the results.

      Grenke fights for his life's work

      The interim results published so far by Grenke had relieved the company's management according to its own assessment. There is talk of weaknesses in the control system. However, no evidence was found for the fraud allegations that the British investor Fraser Perring has been raising for months. The company reacted to the founder's criticism of the financing of the foreign subsidiaries and announced that it would take over the companies itself. Leminsky goes with the conviction: "Grenke AG is resilient and the essential prerequisites for a sustainable basis of trust of our investors, customers and employees have been created."

      In fact, the resignation is likely to be the result of a power struggle between Leminsky and the Grenke founder and major shareholder Wolfgang Grenke. The seventy-year-old recently secured the services of the bustling PR consultant Klaus Kocks in the struggle for his life's work and afterwards publicly attacked the board. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Grenke described the company's unsuccessful notification of a board resignation forced by the BaFin, which had triggered a price slide in February, as "subterranean in the result".

      Although the founder and CEO denied a dispute, the ribbon remained cut. Wolfgang Grenke apparently wanted to get rid of Leminsky before the general meeting on August 6th. According to the company's presentation, she receives a severance payment, the amount should be stated at the latest at the shareholders' meeting. Wolfgang Grenke himself, who is currently resting his office on the supervisory board, no longer wants to run for a seat on the supervisory body, according to a spokesman. Instead, Grenke's eldest son Moritz should look after the family interests.

      Leminsky's successor is to be the former BayernLB board member Michael Bücker. Bücker came to the Landesbank in Munich in 2013, when the Landesbank had just overcome an existential crisis with the help of a 10 billion euro grant from Bavaria's taxpayers and now wanted to break new ground through medium-sized business. This was achieved with the experienced corporate account manager who had once learned the business from scratch at Commerzbank. Bücker won hundreds of new corporate customers and significantly expanded the volume of business with medium-sized companies without incurring the ire of the large savings banks in Bavaria, which are still shareholders of BayernLB. In addition, Bücker is an ardent supporter of Schalke 04.

      After his departure at BayernLB became known, he joined the so-called rescue group of several managers to restart the ailing football club. With their plan to guide the former Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick back to Gelsenkirchen, the group did not prevail against the club leadership. If successful, Bücker would probably have done well as Schalke's CFO. Now he has decided on another, no less difficult task