A new, about a financial dispute between two large French companies, recessional demand to remove the shares to double voting. Yet, it seemed that the debate on this subject was closed after the Lepetit () report June 2005 and the Noguet of May 2007 report, whereas the operation of the business world is based on the differentiated treatment of shareholders including the objectives and inputs differ sometimes deeply in economic terms.
Indeed, companies need medium and long term investors, because they are the ones that allow to implement long-term strategies, only able to ensure success. Short-termism kills.
However, today, the economy is marked by a very large financialisation characterized by dispersion in the capital of large corporations, lined with a high speed of rotation of their shareholders. These various elements contribute not to the stability and the involvement of a shareholding in the conduct of the life of the company in the medium and long term.
Seems normal to treat differently the shareholder "happening" and the "remaining". Double voting rights are therefore a "premium loyalty" with the objective to promote investors whose involvement in the long term serve the interests of society against the speculators with short term goals sometimes conflict with the social interest of the company.
For my part, I would have liked that, in addition to these double voting rights, reward for loyalty in this particularly wayward financial world, double dividend rights exist also for stable shareholders, whereas today ' hui the superdividende may not exceed 10 of the value of the normal dividend. The active involvement of the sustainable shareholders would have been better rewarded than by the mere possibility of double voting. And why not do more to shareholders still more faithful Consistency between the long-term company strategy and the interest of the shareholders would be enhanced.
The arguments usually to remove double voting shares are a form of ideology: they would not meet the principle of "shareholder democracy": an action - a voice. This is to forget that in political democracy, should earn the right to vote by acquiring the nationality of the country in which you want to vote and that this may take several years, while in the company, we vote as soon as the acquisition of the share.
More than ever in the current situation, it would be paradoxical that the establishment or the removal of a fundamental provision that the existence of double voting shares be used only as a "poison pill". It would be awkward to amend the statutes as circumstances especially by removing provisions that are in the interest of the company to protect the leaders or to please shareholders of passage. If it is to avoid creeping acquisitions of control, there are other means to remove the double votes.
The European Parliament has so far had the wisdom to leave a margin of freedom to the laws of the Member countries. Hope that common sense would continue to reconcile the need for long term business with loyal shareholders interested in their strategies and their results, and not financial gain in the short term.