Shareholders are important stakeholders of companies. In recent times the position of shareholders has become more and more scrutinized, partly as a result of activist measures they have taken, sometimes resulting in the breaking up of large corporations. At the other hand of the spectrum we see minority shareholders being marginalised and even forced to transfer their shares.
Questions that arise in these and similar situations are, amongst others: how can the management board of the company block what it deems destructive action by shareholders, but also: what can shareholders do in the event that the value of their shares decreases as a result of actions by management or third parties? As a result there are many relationships concerning companies in which shareholders play a role. The role of a shareholder may depend on the type of company, but also on the type of shareholder (activist vs. long term investor), the type of shares, and the articles of incorporation and shareholders agreements.
This practical handbook provides an overview of these and other relevant legal issues concerning shareholders in some 25 of the most important business nations around the globe. It provides guidance to shareholders, directors, supervisory directors, general counsel and their attorneys to promote a better understanding of the rights, but also the obligations, of shareholders. Besides, this guide provides all those concerned with practical information on the relevant dispute resolution systems.