The Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2 is the third largest shareholder in Electrolux and has submitted its own proposal for consideration by the Annual General Meeting concerning a spin-off of Husqvarna. This means that shareholders in Electrolux will need to consider two alternative proposals concerning dividends paid by Husqvarna. On the one hand is the board of directors’ proposal, which recommends that Husqvarna should have the same mix of A and B-class shares as Electrolux. On the other hand, AP2 proposes a single class of shares. AP2 is positive to the distribution of Husqvarna shares among all shareholders.
AP2’s corporate governance policy clearly endorses the principle “one share – one vote”. This should also serve as a guiding principle when spinning off a subsidiary. Distributing different shares in a subsidiary company according to whether the shareholder has A or B-class shares in Electrolux also raises the risk that Electrolux shareholders will receive dividends of different values. All shareholders have equal rights to the company’s assets. For this reason, when a company distributes such assets, all shareholders shall be treated equally. By awarding certain shareholders A-class shares, which often command a higher market value, while others are awarded B-class shares, shareholders in Electrolux are treated differently, without any justification.
“Other Swedish and foreign investors have expressed great interest in this issue, and we are counting on considerable support at the Annual General Meeting,” says Eva Halvarsson, CEO, Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2.
Please refer any questions to Carl Rosén, Head of Corporate Governance & Communications/AP2 on +46 (0)739 40 10 10.