The rights of the holders of Non-Voting Class A shares and those of the holders of Class B common shares are subject to the rights of the holders of the preferred shares of the Company which enjoy a preferential right to dividends and return of capital on liquidation. The following is a summary of the privileges and rights attaching to the Non-Voting Class A shares and Class B common shares of the Company:
- The Non-Voting Class A shares and the Class B common shares rank equally, pari passu, share for share, with each other and entitle the respective holders thereof to the same rights and benefits except as otherwise provided in the conditions attaching thereto.
- The directors may at any time and from time-to-time declare a dividend or confer any other benefit whatsoever upon the holders of the Non-Voting Class A shares without being obliged to declare an equal or any dividend or confer an equal or any other benefit upon the holders of the Class B common shares provided that no dividend may be declared in respect of or any other benefit conferred upon the holders of the Class B common shares unless concurrently therewith the same dividend is declared in respect of and the same benefit is conferred upon the holders of the Non-Voting Class A shares.
- The holders of the Non-Voting Class A shares shall receive notice of and may attend any meeting of the Class B common shareholders of the Company but are not entitled to vote at the meeting.
- The Class B common shares carry the right to one vote per share at all meetings of the Class B common shareholders of the Company.
- Under certain circumstances, the Class B common shares may at any time be converted into Non-Voting Class A shares on a one for one basis. The circumstances, among other things, require the approval of the Board of Directors and require that Class B common shares which are to be converted be offered first to all the other holders of Class B common shares.
- No subdivision or consolidation of the Class B common shares shall be made unless the same subdivision or consolidation of the Non-Voting Class A shares is made concurrently. No subdivision or consolidation of the Non-Voting Class A shares shall be made unless the same subdivision or consolidation of the Class B common shares is made concurrently.
If a formal take-over bid (other than a “Family Share Transaction” described below) is made for Class B common shares, then the conditions attaching to the Class B common shares and Non-Voting Class A shares generally provide that Canadian holders of Class B common shares shall also be entitled to receive an offer to purchase their Class B common shares and Canadian holders of Non-Voting Class A shares shall also be entitled to receive an offer to purchase their Non-Voting Class A shares on terms and conditions at least as favourable, including the price offered. If an offeror acquires Class B common shares pursuant to a formal take-over bid and does not make the same offer for Non-Voting Class A shares within 60 days, then unless otherwise determined
by the Board of Directors, the Class B common shares acquired pursuant to the offer as well as some other Class B common shares held by the offeror and any others acting jointly or in concert with the offeror, shall convert to Non-Voting Class A shares.
A “Family Share Transaction” means any transfer of any kind of an interest in Class B common shares to one or more of the descendants of J.W. Sobey, now deceased and formerly a businessman of Stellarton, Nova Scotia. For this purpose, descendants include spouses, companies controlled by any such descendants or their affiliates and trusts for bona fide estate planning purposes primarily for the benefit of any such descendants.
Market for Securities
The Non-Voting Class A shares (TSX: EMP.A) are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is the primary marketplace on which the greatest volume of trading or quotation generally occurs. The monthly high and low share price and the TSX monthly average volumes for the Non-Voting Class A shares for the fiscal year ended May 2, 2020 are as follows:
Empire Company Limited Non-Voting Class A shares
($ per share)
($ per share)
|Average Daily Volume
by month (in shares)