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Kuoni faces boardroom battle

David Affolter, the chairman of the board of Swiss travel giant Kuoni Keystone Archive

The Swiss travel giant, Kuoni, is facing a management crisis as the head of the company, Hans Lerch and five board members have called for the resignation of the company's chairman, Daniel Affolter.

They also demanded that the president of the Kuoni and Hugentobler foundation step down along with the foundation’s committee, which controls just over six per cent of the company’s capital and has a quarter of all voting power.

The demand is reportedly a reaction to the payment of millions of francs to each foundation committee member as a bonus for the success of Kuoni over the past 10 years.

At a hastily called press conference in Zurich, Affolter defended the bonus payments and said they were perfectly legal.

He added that the motive behind the demands could be very different and suggested that insiders at Kuoni could be helping an outside interest to takeover the travel company.

In the past few years Kuoni has fought off three hostile takeover bids.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR