The Shareholder Rights Directive and the challenge of re-enfranchising beneficial shareholders

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This article analyses the key provisions of the draft Shareholder Rights Directive (the “Directive”), which is likely to be published in final form in the first half of 2007. It provides an overview of how the increase in share intermediation and cross-border holdings in shares has lead to a disengagement between companies and their beneficial shareholders, and discusses how the Directive aims to solve this problem. The article considers the potential impact of the Directive on beneficial shareholders, securities intermediaries and issuers, as well as the possible drawbacks and limitations of the approach posed by the EU Commission. The article considers the Directive in an English law context and with this in mind, discusses the provisions new Companies Act on share voting and shares dematerialisation, and how these relate to the draft provisions of the Directive.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Law and Financial Markets Review is a new, independent, English language journal devoted to providing high quality information, comment and analysis for lawyers specialising in banking and financial market issues and to others with interests in legal and regulatory developments affecting the financial markets. Published bi-monthly LFMR contains articles written by leading experts providing a forum for practical guidance on, as well as reflective and topical analysis of, all major jurisdictions, with a particular focus on the interaction between the law and market practice and behaviour.
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