Items 3 and 4: DSW recommends opposing the discharge of both Management and Supervisory Board.
On 20 December 2016, Linde AG and Praxair Inc. announced that the companies intend to combine in a merger of equals under a new holding company through an all-stock transaction. Employee representatives have already announced their opposition to this agreement. For further information on this business combination, see section 3.1 of this report.
DSW, the German partner of ECGS has requested to add a vote on the merger to the agenda of this year's AGM on behalf of various shareholders. Specifically, DSW demanded that the following items be added to the agenda:
1. The Management Board shall be authorised to enter into discussions with Praxair Inc. regarding the proposed combination and to undertake all actions necessary to complete the transaction.
2. If the Business Combination Agreement is already executed: the Business Combination Agreement shall be approved.
3. If the Business Combination Agreement will be executed at a later date: the Business Combination Agreement shall be explicitly subject to an approval by the Linde shareholders' meeting.
DSW argued that a vote of Linde shareholders is necessary because the character of the entire Company is changed to a drastic extent for the shareholders and the decision therefore could no longer be taken by the Management and the Supervisory Board of the Company alone. According to the case law of the Federal High Court of Justice (BGH) a shareholders’ approval at the general meeting must already be obtained for a structure-changing measure if the decision on this measure is no longer covered by sec. 119 AktG, as it entails a very intensive change and its effects approximate a situation which can be brought about only by an amendment of the Articles of Association of the Company. The measure here is no longer covered by sec.119 AktG. According to DSW, this is made clear by the parameters of the proposed Business Combination Agreement that have already been published.
The request of DSW has been rejected by the Boards of Linde stating that they do not see any legal basis requiring a shareholder approval to initiate or continue discussions with Praxair or to conclude the Business Combination Agreement mapping out the way towards such a combination.
We consider that shareholder approval for such a significant business combination is required and that the Boards shall not deny their shareholders the right to vote. We therefore recommend opposing the discharge of both Boards.
Item 5: KPMG, Berlin, is proposed as auditor for the current financial year. We have no concerns over the ratio of non-audit/audit fees. However we note that KPMG has audited the Company since the financial year 1984 which exceeds our maximum acceptable term of office of 10 years or 20 years in case an audit tender has taken place after the initial engagement period. We consider a longer term of office may impair the auditor's independence. We therefore recommend opposing the re-election of KPMG as auditor.
Linde is a gases and engineering company based in Germany. Co. operates through two divisions. The Gases division provides a range of compressed and liquefied gases as well as chemicals. Co.'s gases are used in the energy sector, in steel production, chemical processing, environmental protection, and welding, as well as in food processing, glass production and electronics. The Engineering division is engaged in industrial plants construction globally, focusing on market segments such as plants for the production of hydrogen and synthesis gas, air separation and olefins as well as plants for natural gas treatment.
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Three Directors at Linde Plc bought 4,870 shares at 179.210USD. The significance rating of the trade was 57/100. Is that information sufficient for you to make an investment decision? This report gives details of those trades and adds context and analysis to them such that you can judge whether these trading decisions are ones worth following. Included in the report is a detailed share price chart which plots discretionary trades by all the company's directors over the last two years clearly showing Close periods where trading activity is restricted under listing rules. The names of board ...
Linde announced that the Federal Trade Commission has lifted its hold separate order after the narrow-moat industrial gas producer completed required divestments, selling its U.S. hydrogen and carbon monoxide business to Matheson. Linde and Praxair will now be allowed to integrate their businesses, creating the largest industrial gas company in the world. Linde also provided adjusted pro forma results for 2018 for the two companies combined. The company delivered sales of $28.1 billion (a 5% ye...
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Suite au transfert des titres de la Société sur Euronext Growth le 6 août 2018, la Société n’a plus d’obligation de se référer au Code de Gouvernance MIDDLENEXT auquel elle se référait depuis 2010 pour l’élaboration du rapport du Président sur le gouvernement d’entreprise, le contrôle interne et la gestion des risques prévu à l’article 225-37 du Code de Commerce et relatif à l’exercice clos le 31 décembre 2009. La société ne précise pas à quel code elle se réfère. Proxinvest avait déjà souligné l’année précédente que ce changement vers un marché moins règlementé était regrettable ; communicati...
Proxinvest veut attirer l'attentions sur quelques points majeures: D'une part, nous félicitons la Société pour la modification statutaire visant à réduire la durée du mandat des membres du Conseil de Surveillance de 6 à 3 ans. D'autre part, nous regrettons les montants des membres du Directoire (en cours) qui sont trop élevés par rapport à la médiane des rémunérations totales des dirigeants de leur indice. Enfin, nous encourageons la Société à améliorer le taux d'indépendance du Conseil, qui est pour le moment de seulement 25%.
Le conseil présente une majorité de membres non libres de conflits d'intérêts d’après Proxinvest à cause surtout de l’ancienneté des administrateurs qui dépasse notre seuil de 11 ans. Il est présidé par le Directeur général. Par ailleurs, les mandats d'une durée de 6 ans semblent trop longs car ils ne permettent pas aux actionnaires de se prononcer assez fréquemment sur la composition du conseil. Les différentes autorisations financières ne respectent pas la politique de vote de Proxinvest en termes de montants mais également en raison de leur possible utilisation en période d'offre publique. ...
ITEM 10: Benoit Bazin was designated Deputy CEO as of 1 January 2019. The company proposes therefore to approve its 2019 remuneration policy, as well as its post-employments benefits. Overall, his remuneration policy structure is more in line with our recommendations and amounts at stake are more moderate than the CEO’s. Thus we support it. Regarding his post-employments benefits, his severance indemnity and non-compete clause do not respect our Guidelines. However, his supplementary pension plan does. Thus, we support Item 12.
GOVERNANCE On 1 June 2018, Laurent Mignon left his position as Chief Executive Officer to become Chairman of the Management Board of BPCE, Natixis' main shareholder with 71% of the capital. He succeeded François Pérol as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Natixis and François Riahi became the new Chief Executive Officer. The Board remains composed of a majority of members who are not free of potential conflicts of interest, which makes it impossible to support most of the many co-optations and renewals proposed (resolutions 12 to 22). REMUNERATION Due to changes in governance, in a...
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