On Friday 3 April, the Dutch government announced emergency legislation that will allow virtual shareholder meetings. Shareholders can only follow such virtual meeting through a livestream. Questions should be submitted prior to the meeting.
While the draft bill has not been made public, the following are key points as outlined in today’s press release.
The board may decide that shareholders cannot attend the general meeting in person. Shareholders should then be given the opportunity to follow the meeting through an audio or video livestream and to submit questions ahead of or during the meeting. All questions must be addressed during the meeting at the latest.
The board may decide to extend the term for preparing the annual accounts. Restrictions may apply to companies with a listing on an EU stock-exchange. Furthermore, the board may decide to postpone the annual general meeting until after June 2020.
Some measures will be introduced with retroactive effect. The latter may also apply to legislation providing for virtual shareholder meetings.
The draft bill will now be sent to the Council of State (Raad van State) for advice, and will become public upon being sent to the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer). The press release does not provide information on the expected timeframe.
We will continue updating you on the implementation of this bill, as well as on trends that we identify in terms of how shareholder meetings are being organised during the coronavirus pandemic. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of your De Brauw client team, or to one of our corporate advisory experts, to discuss any questions you may have.
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