IVG chief executive resigns

Wolfhard Leichnitz is to leave the Bonn-based property company and fund manager at the end of the month. The news follows a fall in profits, share price and a cool reception to a decision not to sell its underground oil and gas storage company.

Wolfhard Leichnitz, chief executive of IVG Immobilien, the Germany property company and fund manager, will resign for personal reasons at the end of the month.

In a statement, the Bonn-company said the decision was taken by mutual agreement with the supervisory board.
Until the appointment of a successor, his duties will be carried out by fellow board memebers Bernd Kottmann, Andreas Barth, and Georg Reul.
Detlef Bierbaum, chairman of the company’s supervisory board, said in the statement, IVG's next objective was to increase profitability and improve the company's balance sheet ratios. The shock departure comes after a difficult year for IVG.

Not only did profits slide a 72 percent fall in the first half of the year to €51.2 million (€72.6 million), but its shares continued to slide after a deal announced earlier in the month that was supposed to help strengthen the balance sheet and reduce debt.

After considering an outright sale of underground oil and gas storage business, IVG Caverns, IVG decided to keep the business but sell off sites to a newly established fund over a number of years.

The share price fell nearly three percent today to €9.50 following  news of Leichnitz's resignation.