LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Financial news and information provider Reuters Group Plc RTR.L said on Friday it had received a preliminary takeover approach from an unidentified suitor.
The Reuters share structure includes two mechanisms designed to safeguard the company’s independence. The following explains how the system works:
- No person may hold 15 percent or more of Reuters issued shares.
- If that did happen, Reuters directors would be required to ensure the holding is reduced to below 15 percent.
- In addition to the publicly traded shares, a single Founders Share carries significant voting powers. The share is owned by Reuters Founders Share Company Limited, a private company set up in 1984 when Reuters floated in London.
- The directors of Reuters Founders Share Company can exercise enough voting power to support or defeat any proposal by a person or their associates seeking to obtain control of Reuters.
- In addition, Reuters Founders Share Company can use the Founders Share mechanism to defeat any plan to alter any of the Articles of Association of Reuters Group PLC relating to the Reuters Trust Principles.
- The Reuters Trust Principles include:
* Reuters shall at no time pass into the hands of any one interest, group or faction.
* The integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters will always be preserved.
* Reuters will supply unbiased and reliable news services.
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Source: Reuters company website