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Companies Act 2006

Section 694: Authority for off-market purchase

1008.This section replaces sections 164(2) and 165(2) of the 1985 Act and restates sections 164(1), (3) and (4) and 165(1) of that Act.

1009.Under the 1985 Act a company may only enter into a contract for an off-market purchase of shares if the shareholders approve the contract by special resolution before the contract is entered into. An off-market purchase of shares is a purchase that is not conducted through a recognised investment exchange (for example, the London Stock Market).

1010.Section 694 enables a company to enter into a contract for an off-market purchase of its own shares conditional on the contract being approved by the shareholders. This will save companies valuable time as it will be possible for the directors to negotiate and agree the terms of a contract for an off-market purchase of shares ahead of seeking shareholder approval. If, however, the shareholders do not subsequently pass a special resolution approving the contract, the company may not purchase the shares in question and the contract will lapse.

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