Un­wind­ing good, vot­ing shares bad

Finweek English Edition - - MARKETPLACE SIMON SAYS -

The old-fash­ioned hold­ing struc­ture that ex­ists be­tween Dis­tell and Capevin with Rem­gro in the middle is be­ing un­wound and this should see a re­lease of some value to shareholders as com­plex hold­ing struc­tures never allow for real price dis­cov­ery. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s creating a bunch of B shares that, while car­ry­ing no eco­nomic value, do have vot­ing rights in or­der for Rem­gro to main­tain its vot­ing con­trol above 50%. Much like with the un­wind­ing of the Pick n Pay struc­ture, I am a fan. But I do not like these spe­cial vot­ing shares. If you want to con­trol a com­pany, then it is sim­ple: own 50% +1 of the shares rather than creating fancy vot­ing shares that dis­ad­van­tage nor­mal shareholders.

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