What type of shares can be issued?

  • Ordinary shares: These are the most commonly issued shares. With an ordinary share you have a voting right but not a special right. Ordinary shares can be divided into different classes of shares. Certain specific rights (e.g. upon liquidation, distribution of profits) are allocated to these classes of shares (e.g. A, B and C shares). Non-voting shares are basically ordinary shares except that they do not have any voting rights.
  • Priority shares: These are shares to which certain extra rights are allocated, according to the articles of association. The purpose is to create a certain difference between the powers of shareholders within the company, providing the shareholders of these shares with certain controlling rights. Priority shares can carry own rights, approval rights and initiative rights.
  • Preference shares: These shares entitle the shareholder to receive a fixed dividend that has preference over any dividend on ordinary shares. Preference shares do not typically have voting rights. With cumulative preference shares, dividends that cannot be paid when due, are carried forward and must be paid before the company can pay out dividends to the shareholders with ordinary shares.
  • Share certificates: Certificates are issued to holders who invest in the company, but in fact have very little to say. They are more interested in the profit (dividends). Often the shares are held by a trust office. This office is entitled to the voting rights of these shares. The share certificates are given to the holders, which entitles them to the profit. Share certificates can be divided into exchangeable certificates, which can be freely exchanged for shares, and non-exchangeable certificates.

 

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