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Companies Act 2006

Changes over time for: Cross Heading: Variation of class rights

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Variation of class rightsE+W+S+N.I.

630Variation of class rights: companies having a share capitalE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section is concerned with the variation of the rights attached to a class of shares in a company having a share capital.

(2)Rights attached to a class of a company's shares may only be varied—

(a)in accordance with provision in the company's articles for the variation of those rights, or

(b)where the company's articles contain no such provision, if the holders of shares of that class consent to the variation in accordance with this section.

(3)This is without prejudice to any other restrictions on the variation of the rights.

(4)The consent required for the purposes of this section on the part of the holders of a class of a company's shares is—

(a)consent in writing from the holders of at least three-quarters in nominal value of the issued shares of that class (excluding any shares held as treasury shares), or

(b)a special resolution passed at a separate general meeting of the holders of that class sanctioning the variation.

(5)Any amendment of a provision contained in a company's articles for the variation of the rights attached to a class of shares, or the insertion of any such provision into the articles, is itself to be treated as a variation of those rights.

(6)In this section, and (except where the context otherwise requires) in any provision in a company's articles for the variation of the rights attached to a class of shares, references to the variation of those rights include references to their abrogation.

631Variation of class rights: companies without a share capitalE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section is concerned with the variation of the rights of a class of members of a company where the company does not have a share capital.

(2)Rights of a class of members may only be varied—

(a)in accordance with provision in the company's articles for the variation of those rights, or

(b)where the company's articles contain no such provision, if the members of that class consent to the variation in accordance with this section.

(3)This is without prejudice to any other restrictions on the variation of the rights.

(4)The consent required for the purposes of this section on the part of the members of a class is—

(a)consent in writing from at least three-quarters of the members of the class, or

(b)a special resolution passed at a separate general meeting of the members of that class sanctioning the variation.

(5)Any amendment of a provision contained in a company's articles for the variation of the rights of a class of members, or the insertion of any such provision into the articles, is itself to be treated as a variation of those rights.

(6)In this section, and (except where the context otherwise requires) in any provision in a company's articles for the variation of the rights of a class of members, references to the variation of those rights include references to their abrogation.

632Variation of class rights: saving for court's powers under other provisionsE+W+S+N.I.

Nothing in section 630 or 631 (variation of class rights) affects the power of the court under—

  • section 98 (application to cancel resolution for public company to be re-registered as private),

  • Part 26 (arrangements and reconstructions), or

  • Part 30 (protection of members against unfair prejudice).

633Right to object to variation: companies having a share capitalE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section applies where the rights attached to any class of shares in a company are varied under section 630 (variation of class rights: companies having a share capital).

(2)The holders of not less in the aggregate than 15% of the issued shares of the class in question (being persons who did not consent to or vote in favour of the resolution for the variation) may apply to the court to have the variation cancelled.

For this purpose any of the company's share capital held as treasury shares is disregarded.

(3)If such an application is made, the variation has no effect unless and until it is confirmed by the court.

(4)Application to the court—

(a)must be made within 21 days after the date on which the consent was given or the resolution was passed (as the case may be), and

(b)may be made on behalf of the shareholders entitled to make the application by such one or more of their number as they may appoint in writing for the purpose.

(5)The court, after hearing the applicant and any other persons who apply to the court to be heard and appear to the court to be interested in the application, may, if satisfied having regard to all the circumstances of the case that the variation would unfairly prejudice the shareholders of the class represented by the applicant, disallow the variation, and shall if not so satisfied confirm it.

The decision of the court on any such application is final.

(6)References in this section to the variation of the rights of holders of a class of shares include references to their abrogation.

634Right to object to variation: companies without a share capitalE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section applies where the rights of any class of members of a company are varied under section 631 (variation of class rights: companies without a share capital).

(2)Members amounting to not less than 15% of the members of the class in question (being persons who did not consent to or vote in favour of the resolution for the variation) may apply to the court to have the variation cancelled.

(3)If such an application is made, the variation has no effect unless and until it is confirmed by the court.

(4)Application to the court must be made within 21 days after the date on which the consent was given or the resolution was passed (as the case may be) and may be made on behalf of the members entitled to make the application by such one or more of their number as they may appoint in writing for the purpose.

(5)The court, after hearing the applicant and any other persons who apply to the court to be heard and appear to the court to be interested in the application, may, if satisfied having regard to all the circumstances of the case that the variation would unfairly prejudice the members of the class represented by the applicant, disallow the variation, and shall if not so satisfied confirm it.

The decision of the court on any such application is final.

(6)References in this section to the variation of the rights of a class of members include references to their abrogation.

635Copy of court order to be forwarded to the registrarE+W+S+N.I.

(1)The company must within 15 days after the making of an order by the court on an application under section 633 or 634 (objection to variation of class rights) forward a copy of the order to the registrar.

(2)If default is made in complying with this section an offence is committed by—

(a)the company, and

(b)every officer of the company who is in default.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and, for continued contravention, a daily default fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 3 on the standard scale.

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