As of 23 august 2005 investment fund VHS is disappearing from the stock exchange listing of Euronext. By a public bid of 22,- per share, owner Ed Maas, who allready owns 95% of the shares, is trying to pull the remaining 5% out of the market. An honourless end to a listed fund that never really was a listed real estate fund.
VHS knows a roaring history. It was founded in 1916 as 'Verenigde Handelaren in Sigaren' (VHS). Maas bought VHS in december 1992 after a strong fight with Uni-Invest (then owned by Richard Homburg). From the start there was suspicion against this fund because there was hardly any 'free float' (almost all shares where in the hands of Ed Maas and friendly relations), while an enormous development in exchange rates was taking place. Many of the transactions that led to a rise in exchange rate values where taking place in private circle through Staal Bankiers. Commotion arose when Staal Bankiers all of a sudden said goodbye to its client VHS, after which Maas started a court case. In 2004 it was announced that Maas was being suspected of being involved in unlawful transactions. In may 2005 supervisor 'Autoriteit Financiële Markten'(AFM) concluded that the reliability of Maas was 'no longer without a doubt' because of suspicion of trading with prescience. VHS will continue its activities in private circle. The offer to buy the remaining shares for 22,- per share will stay essentially valid for 20 years.