Valora appoints Michael Mueller as new CEO – Rolando Benedick gives up his current dual mandate and will continue as Chairman of Valora's Board of Directors

16.10.2013 / 07:00 / Ad hoc announcement pursuant to art. 53 LR, Shareholder

2013 Guidance for operating profit of CHF 75 million before one-off effects confirmed

The Board of Directors of Valora Holding AG has appointed Michael Mueller (born 1972) as new CEO as of March 1, 2014. He will succeed Rolando Benedick, who will then continue solely again as Chairman of Valora's Board of Directors.

To date, Michael Mueller has served as Valora Group's CFO/Member of the Executive Management. The search for his successor has been initiated.

Michael Mueller, born in Riehen in the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt, studied Business Law at the universities of Lausanne and St. Gallen, completing his studies with a master's degree in Law (lic. iur. HSG) from the University of St. Gallen. After graduation, he joined management consultant firm Bain & Company, where he worked in particular also on strategic transformation and restructuring programmes in a number of industry sectors, including retail and consumer goods industry in Europe and the United States. Michael Mueller subsequently joined the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt, in the mergers and acquisitions practice. In 2007, he became CEO of GVO Asset Management Ltd. and joined Jelmoli Holding AG, initially as a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and, from 2008, as CEO, and Delegate of the Board of Directors. Michael Mueller has been the Valora Group's CFO and a member of its Group Executive Management since November 1, 2012.

"Valora's Board of Directors is convinced that Michael Mueller has the best qualifications, both from a professional and a personal point of view, to take over the operational leadership as the CEO of Valora Group. The established good collaboration over the recent months also ensures management continuity, which is particularly important during the Group's current transformation phase", says Rolando Benedick. The Board also has no doubt that this appointment will provide Valora with additional impetus. It is Valora's goal to further strengthen and develop its existing expertise in small-outlet retail. At the same time, the evaluation of new options for all business areas outside Valora's core business shall be intensified. At Valora Services, initial discussions with potential purchasers or business partners are taking place, in line with the pre-defined process set up. Michael Mueller expressed his enthusiasm about his new role: "I am delighted about the confidence the Board of Directors has put in me and I look forward to the opportunity to lead Valora towards a successful future together with my Executive Management team."

For 2013, Valora confirms its expectation to generate an unchanged operating profit of around CHF 75 million. As previously communicated with the reporting of the half year results for 2013 positive one-off effects (mainly due to IAS 19) are in the range of CHF 5 – 10 million. Additional restructuring measures in Valora Trade Classic, and further integration expenditures for Convenience Concept in Germany are necessary. Furthermore, there will be more preparatory measures required for the strategic reorientation of Valora Services than initially anticipated, which will lead to slightly increased transaction costs. In aggregate, these negative one-off effects are expected to be in the range of CHF 5 – 7 million. Both effects, the positive as well as the negative ones, are not included in the operating profit.

The Board of Directors is convinced that with the appointment of Michael Mueller as CEO and together with the Group Executive Management Valora will accelerate the focus on its core activities.