All shareholders who are registered in the Share Register as shareholders with voting rights by the relevant cut-off date are entitled to participate and vote in the annual General Meeting. The Articles of Association do not impose any limitation on shareholders’ voting rights, without prejudice to the restrictions on the transferability of shares (see section Restrictions on transferability). Each share carries one vote. Moreover, as mentioned above, the Board of Directors is authorised to enter into agreements with the nominees on their reporting obligations (see Restrictions on transferability and nominee registrations and the Registration Regulations).
No exceptions were granted in the reporting year. The restrictions on registration and voting rights under section Restrictions on transferability may be suspended by amending the Articles of Association. Such suspension requires a General Meeting resolution passed by at least two thirds of the voting shares represented and the absolute majority of the nominal value of the shares represented (Art. 16 (1)(c) of the Articles of Association).
The shareholders’ rights to participate in the General Meeting are governed by the relevant statutory provisions and the Articles of Association. Each shareholder can vote by participating personally in the General Meeting or have himself represented by an independent proxy or by another shareholder with voting rights with a written proxy form issued by the shareholder. Representation by a governing officer or custodian under Art. 689c and 689d, respectively, of the Swiss Code of Obligations, is not permitted. The general policy that both motions disclosed in the letter of invitation and motions not so disclosed should be put to vote as motions of the Board of Directors is held to be the applicable voting policy.
In addition, partnerships and legal persons can have themselves represented by authorised signatories or other authorised representatives, minors or wards by their legal representatives, and married persons by their spouse, even if the representatives are not shareholders. The Chairperson of the General Meeting decides on the admissibility of a form of representation (Art. 11 (5) of the Articles of Association).
The shareholders may grant the independent proxy instructions and powers of attorney electronically, as well, in which case the Board of Directors shall determine the requirements for such powers of attorney and instructions (Art. 11 (1) of the Articles of Association).
The Articles of Association have no further rules on issuing instructions to the independent proxy or on electronic participation in the General Meeting. The applicable rules are described in the relevant letter of invitation.
The General Meeting shall adopt resolutions by the majorities prescribed by law. The Articles of Association do not provide for any different majorities, except for resolutions to suspend or ease the limitations of transferability requiring a majority vote of two thirds of the voting shares represented and an absolute majority of the nominal value of the shares represented (Art. 16 (1) of the Articles of Association). Resolutions on mergers, de-mergers and conversion are subject to the rules set out in the Swiss Merger Act.
General meetings shall be convened by the Board of Directors; the invitation, indicating the agenda items and motions, shall be published in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce at least 20 days before the meeting. In addition, registered shareholders may be informed in writing (Art. 8 (1) and 9 (1) of the Articles of Association). The decision to determine the location of the General Meeting shall be made by the Board of Directors. The minutes of the General Meetings shall be published on Ina Invest's website.
The Board of Directors shall be responsible for adding items to the agenda. Any shareholders representing at least 1% of the issued share capital can move to add an item to the agenda (Art. 9 (2) of the Articles of Association). Such a request, specifying the agenda item and motions, shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Directors at least 45 days before the General Meeting.
The invitation to the General Meeting shall be sent to the shareholders registered as shareholders with voting rights in the Share Register as of the cut-off date. The cut-off date for eligibility to vote in the General Meeting shall be set by the Board of Directors each year based on Art. 11 (2) of the Articles of Association. The data concerned shall be mentioned in the relevant invitation.
The Articles of Association with the exact wording of the above-cited provision can be viewed as followson Ina Invest's website