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Companies Act 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Authority for off-market purchase

694Authority for off-market purchase

(1)A company may only make an off-market purchase of its own shares in pursuance of a contract approved prior to the purchase in accordance with this section.

(2)Either—

(a)the terms of the contract must be authorised by a special resolution of the company before the contract is entered into, or

(b)the contract must provide that no shares may be purchased in pursuance of the contract until its terms have been authorised by a special resolution of the company.

(3)The contract may be a contract, entered into by the company and relating to shares in the company, that does not amount to a contract to purchase the shares but under which the company may (subject to any conditions) become entitled or obliged to purchase the shares.

(4)The authority conferred by a resolution under this section may be varied, revoked or from time to time renewed by a special resolution of the company.

(5)In the case of a public company a resolution conferring, varying or renewing authority must specify a date on which the authority is to expire, which must not be later than 18 months after the date on which the resolution is passed.

(6)A resolution conferring, varying, revoking or renewing authority under this section is subject to—

  • section 695 (exercise of voting rights), and

  • section 696 (disclosure of details of contract).

695Resolution authorising off-market purchase: exercise of voting rights

(1)This section applies to a resolution to confer, vary, revoke or renew authority for the purposes of section 694 (authority for off-market purchase of own shares).

(2)Where the resolution is proposed as a written resolution, a member who holds shares to which the resolution relates is not an eligible member.

(3)Where the resolution is proposed at a meeting of the company, it is not effective if—

(a)any member of the company holding shares to which the resolution relates exercises the voting rights carried by any of those shares in voting on the resolution, and

(b)the resolution would not have been passed if he had not done so.

(4)For this purpose—

(a)a member who holds shares to which the resolution relates is regarded as exercising the voting rights carried by those shares not only if he votes in respect of them on a poll on the question whether the resolution shall be passed, but also if he votes on the resolution otherwise than on a poll;

(b)any member of the company may demand a poll on that question;

(c)a vote and a demand for a poll by a person as proxy for a member are the same respectively as a vote and a demand by the member.

696Resolution authorising off-market purchase: disclosure of details of contract

(1)This section applies in relation to a resolution to confer, vary, revoke or renew authority for the purposes of section 694 (authority for off-market purchase of own shares).

(2)A copy of the contract (if it is in writing) or a memorandum setting out its terms (if it is not) must be made available to members—

(a)in the case of a written resolution, by being sent or submitted to every eligible member at or before the time at which the proposed resolution is sent or submitted to him;

(b)in the case of a resolution at a meeting, by being made available for inspection by members of the company both—

(i)at the company’s registered office for not less than 15 days ending with the date of the meeting, and

(ii)at the meeting itself.

(3)A memorandum of contract terms so made available must include the names of the members holding shares to which the contract relates.

(4)A copy of the contract so made available must have annexed to it a written memorandum specifying such of those names as do not appear in the contract itself.

(5)The resolution is not validly passed if the requirements of this section are not complied with

697Variation of contract for off-market purchase

(1)A company may only agree to a variation of a contract authorised under section 694 (authority for off-market purchase) if the variation is approved in advance in accordance with this section.

(2)The terms of the variation must be authorised by a special resolution of the company before it is agreed to.

(3)That authority may be varied, revoked or from time to time renewed by a special resolution of the company.

(4)In the case of a public company a resolution conferring, varying or renewing authority must specify a date on which the authority is to expire, which must not be later than 18 months after the date on which the resolution is passed.

(5)A resolution conferring, varying, revoking or renewing authority under this section is subject to—

  • section 698 (exercise of voting rights), and

  • section 699 (disclosure of details of variation).

698Resolution authorising variation: exercise of voting rights

(1)This section applies to a resolution to confer, vary, revoke or renew authority for the purposes of section 697 (variation of contract for off-market purchase of own shares).

(2)Where the resolution is proposed as a written resolution, a member who holds shares to which the resolution relates is not an eligible member.

(3)Where the resolution is proposed at a meeting of the company, it is not effective if—

(a)any member of the company holding shares to which the resolution relates exercises the voting rights carried by any of those shares in voting on the resolution, and

(b)the resolution would not have been passed if he had not done so.

(4)For this purpose—

(a)a member who holds shares to which the resolution relates is regarded as exercising the voting rights carried by those shares not only if he votes in respect of them on a poll on the question whether the resolution shall be passed, but also if he votes on the resolution otherwise than on a poll;

(b)any member of the company may demand a poll on that question;

(c)a vote and a demand for a poll by a person as proxy for a member are the same respectively as a vote and a demand by the member.

699Resolution authorising variation: disclosure of details of variation

(1)This section applies in relation to a resolution under section 697 (variation of contract for off-market purchase of own shares).

(2)A copy of the proposed variation (if it is in writing) or a written memorandum giving details of the proposed variation (if it is not) must be made available to members—

(a)in the case of a written resolution, by being sent or submitted to every eligible member at or before the time at which the proposed resolution is sent or submitted to him;

(b)in the case of a resolution at a meeting, by being made available for inspection by members of the company both—

(i)at the company’s registered office for not less than 15 days ending with the date of the meeting, and

(ii)at the meeting itself.

(3)There must also be made available as mentioned in subsection (2) a copy of the original contract or, as the case may be, a memorandum of its terms, together with any variations previously made.

(4)A memorandum of the proposed variation so made available must include the names of the members holding shares to which the variation relates.

(5)A copy of the proposed variation so made available must have annexed to it a written memorandum specifying such of those names as do not appear in the variation itself.

(6)The resolution is not validly passed if the requirements of this section are not complied with.

700Release of company’s rights under contract for off-market purchase

(1)An agreement by a company to release its rights under a contract approved under section 694 (authorisation of off-market purchase) is void unless the terms of the release agreement are approved in advance in accordance with this section.

(2)The terms of the proposed agreement must be authorised by a special resolution of the company before the agreement is entered into.

(3)That authority may be varied, revoked or from time to time renewed by a special resolution of the company.

(4)In the case of a public company a resolution conferring, varying or renewing authority must specify a date on which the authority is to expire, which must not be later than 18 months after the date on which the resolution is passed.

(5)The provisions of—

  • section 698 (exercise of voting rights), and

  • section 699 (disclosure of details of variation),

apply to a resolution authorising a proposed release agreement as they apply to a resolution authorising a proposed variation.

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