Topic filter

Select tags to filter the report content

Takeover-related disclosures

The takeover-related disclosures as of 30 September 2023 required under §§ 289a Section 1 and 315a Section 1 of the German Commercial Code (HGB) are shown below:

Composition of the subscribed capital

The share capital of METRO AG amounted to €363,097,253. It is divided into a total of 360,121,736 ordinary shares (pro rata value of the share capital: €360,121,736, approximately 99.18%), as well as 2,975,517 preference shares (pro rata value of the share capital: €2,975,517, approximately 0.82%). Each share in the company has a notional interest of €1.00 in the share capital.

Each ordinary share grants a single vote in the company’s Annual General Meeting. The ordinary shares carry full dividend rights. In contrast to ordinary shares, preference shares do not carry voting rights but confer a preferential entitlement to profits (preliminary dividend of €0.17 per preference share). Details of profit distribution are governed by § 21 of the Articles of Association of METRO AG.1

METRO did not pay a dividend for financial years 2020/21 or 2021/22, including the preliminary dividend. The preference shares therefore grant voting rights until the arrears of the preliminary dividend have been paid in full. As long as the voting right exists, the preference shares must also be considered in the calculation of the respective capital majorities (cf. § 140 Section 2 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG)). Consequently, the number of voting rights amounts to 363,097,253 (total of ordinary and preference shares).

Voting rights and transfer-related restrictions

To the best knowledge of the Management Board, the following agreements exist or existed during financial year 2022/23, which may be construed as restrictions in the sense of § 315a Section 1 No. 2 and § 289a Section 1 No. 2 of the German Commercial Code:

As part of an intra-group reorganisation of the Beisheim Group on 31 December 2021, BC Equities GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf, has joined the pool of voting rights in place of Beisheim Assets gGmbH, Düsseldorf. The pool of voting rights has been in place since 29 July 2019 and includes Beisheim Capital GmbH, Düsseldorf (Germany), Beisheim Holding GmbH, Baar (Switzerland), and Palatin Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Essen (Germany), a subsidiary of Meridian Stiftung, Essen (Germany). Based on the Beisheim Group’s voting rights notification dated 3 January 2022, the partners in the voting pool continue to hold 23.94% of the ordinary shares. The declared objective of Meridian Stiftung and the Beisheim Group is to exercise the voting rights from the METRO shares held by them jointly. In the future they plan to act uniformly vis-à-vis METRO and its shareholders in all material matters. Accordingly, as of 31 December 2021, BC Equities GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf, also replaced Beisheim Assets gGmbH, Düsseldorf, in the pooling agreement with Beisheim Holding GmbH, Baar (Switzerland); this pooling agreement, which has been in place since 29 July 2019 with the subsidiary of Meridian Stiftung, Essen (Germany), is suspended for the duration of the new pool of voting rights with Meridian Stiftung, Essen.

In connection with the demerger of the former METRO AG, CECONOMY AG (formerly operating as METRO AG) has assumed a lock-up agreement with respect to the shares held by it in accordance with the Group Separation Agreement dated 13 December 2016. According to this agreement, CECONOMY AG is obligated not to sell its approximately 1% of the shares in METRO AG, which were granted as part of the demerger within the spin-off from the group, until 1 October 2023.

The Management Board remuneration system stipulates share ownership guidelines. Within the framework of these guidelines, the members of the Management Board are required build up a self-financed investment in METRO ordinary shares and retain it until at least the date of retirement from the Management Board.

Shares held in capital

As of 30 September 2023, the following direct and indirect capital interests existed and entitled their respective holders to more than 10% of the voting rights:

Name/company

Direct/indirect capital interest entitling to more than 10% of voting rights

BC Equities GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf, Germany1

Direct

Beisheim Holding GmbH, Baar, Switzerland1

Direct

Beisheim Management GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany

Indirect

Beisheim Assets gGmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany

Indirect

Prof. Otto Beisheim Stiftung, Munich, Germany

Indirect

Prof. Otto Beisheim Stiftung, Baar, Switzerland

Indirect

Palatin Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Essen, Germany1

Direct

BVG Beteiligungs- und Vermögensverwaltungs-GmbH, Essen, Germany

Indirect

Gebr. Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG, Essen, Germany

Indirect

Gebr. Schmidt Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Essen, Germany

Indirect

Meridian Stiftung, Essen, Germany

Indirect

EP Global Commerce GmbH, Grünwald, Germany

Direct

EP Global Commerce VII GmbH, Grünwald, Germany

Indirect

EP Global Commerce IV GmbH, Grünwald, Germany

Indirect

EP Global Commerce III GmbH, Grünwald, Germany

Indirect

EP Global Commerce a.s., Prague, Czech Republic

Indirect

Daniel Křetínský, Prague, Czech Republic

Indirect

Patrik Tkáč2, Bratislava, Slovakia

Indirect

1

Coordination of exercising voting rights based on a pool of voting rights between BC Equities GmbH & Co. KG, Beisheim Holding GmbH and Palatin Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH.

2

Attribution of voting rights due to concerted behaviour within the meaning of § 34 Section 2 of the German Securities Trading Act.

The information above is in particular based on notifications issued under § 33 et seqq. of the German Securities Trading Act that were received and published by METRO AG.2

Holders of shares with special rights as well as type of voting right control of employee shares

The company has not issued any shares with special rights pursuant to § 315a Section 1 No. 4 and § 289a Section 1 No. 4 of the German Commercial Code. No capital interests are held by employees pursuant to § 315a Section 1 No. 5 and § 289a Section 1 No. 5 of the German Commercial Code.

Provisions governing the appointment and dismissal of members of the Management Board and changes to the Articles of Association

The appointment and dismissal of members of the Management Board of METRO AG are governed in §§ 84, 85 of the German Stock Corporation Act and §§ 30, 31, 33 of the German Co-determination Act. § 5 of the Articles of Association of METRO AG stipulates that the Management Board shall comprise at least 2 members and that the actual number of members of the Management Board is determined by the Supervisory Board.

Changes to the Articles of Association of METRO AG are determined principally in accordance with §§ 179, 181, 133 and 119 Section 1 No. 5 of the German Stock Corporation Act. There are numerous other sections of the German Stock Corporation Act that could possibly govern a change to the Articles of Association and that may amend or supersede the previously mentioned regulations. Pursuant to § 14 Section 1 of the Articles of Association of METRO AG, the Supervisory Board may resolve to change the wording of the Articles of Association without a resolution passed by the Annual General Meeting.

Authorities of the Management Board to issue or buy back shares

Authorities to issue new shares (authorised capital)

On 11 February 2022, the Annual General Meeting had authorised the Management Board by resolution to increase the share capital, subject to the consent of the Supervisory Board, by issuing new ordinary shares against cash contributions in one or several tranches for a total maximum of €108,929,175 by 10 February 2027 (authorised capital). Existing shareholders may exercise their subscription rights. The newly issued shares may also be acquired by banks or similarly situated companies selected by the Management Board pursuant to § 186 Section 5 Sentence 1 of the German Stock Corporation Act, given these institutions agree to tender such shares to the shareholders.

Nonetheless, subject to the consent of the Supervisory Board, the Management Board is authorised to exclude shareholder subscription rights to offset fractional amounts.

The Management Board is also authorised, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, to determine the further details of the capital increases and their implementation, including the content of the share rights and the conditions of the share issuance. To date, the authorised capital has not been fully utilised.

Authorities to issue warrant bonds and/or convertible bearer bonds

With a resolution passed on 16 February 2018, the Annual General Meeting had authorised the Management Board to issue, in each case with the consent of the Supervisory Board, warrant or convertible bearer bonds (in aggregate, ‘bonds’) with an aggregate par value of €1,500,000,000 prior to 15 February 2023, on one or several occasions, and to grant the holders of warrant or convertible bearer bonds warrant or conversion rights or impose warrant or conversion obligations upon them for ordinary bearer shares in METRO AG representing up to €50,000,000 of the share capital in accordance with the terms of the warrant or convertible bearer bonds. This authority results in contingent capital of up to €50,000,000 pursuant to § 4 Section 8 of the METRO AG Articles of Association. This authorisation has not been exercised.

Fundamental agreements related to the conditions of a change of control

METRO AG is currently a borrower in credit agreements with a total credit limit of €1.2 billion, which the lender may cancel in the case of a change of control, provided that, additionally and as a result of the change of control, the credit rating of METRO AG deteriorates to a certain degree as defined in respective agreements. The lending banks may only cancel the contract and demand the return of the loans if the change of control and a resulting drop in the credit rating occur cumulatively. During financial year 2022/23, these credit facilities were not utilised.

Compensation agreements in the event of a takeover bid

There are no compensation agreements between METRO AG and members of the Management Board or employees in the event of a takeover bid.

1 The Articles of Association of METRO AG can be found on the website www.metroag.de/en in the section About us – Corporate Governance.

2 Voting rights notifications published by METRO AG can be found on the website www.metroag.de/en in the section Newsroom – Legal Announcements.

Share this page: