Orkla seeks to ensure that as many shareholders as possible are able to exercise their rights by participating in general meetings, and that the general meeting is an effective meeting place for shareholders and the Board of Directors.
The Annual General Meeting is held every year before the end of May. Notices of general meetings and related documents are made available on Orkla’s website no later than 21 days prior to the date of the meeting. The final date for giving notice of attendance is three working days prior to the general meeting. Shareholders are given the opportunity to vote on the election of every single candidate to an office in the Nomination Committee and on the Board of Directors. The auditor and members of the Board of Directors and Nomination Committee are present at general meetings.
The voting right for a transferred share may be exercised when the transfer has been recorded by the Norwegian Central Securities Depository (VPS) within the time limit for giving notice of attendance at the general meeting, or if the share acquisition has been notified to the VPS and proof of the acquisition is presented at the general meeting. Under Norwegian law, only shares that are registered in the name of the shareholder may be voted. Shares that are registered in a nominee account must be reregistered in the VPS in order for the shareholder to be able to vote the shares. Further information may be found in the notice of the general meeting and on in the Annual General Meeting article on the bottom of this page.
Shareholders who are unable to attend the general meeting may vote by proxy. Orkla will appoint the Board Chair or meeting chair to vote for the shareholders. The proxy form is designed in such a way that voting instructions may be given for each item of business that is to be considered. Shareholders who were unable to attend the Annual General Meeting in 2017 could, in addition to voting by proxy, cast a direct advance vote on the company’s website or through VPS Investor Services. The Board of Directors has decided that shareholders may cast such direct advance votes again in 2018. Both the notice of the general meeting and Orkla’s website provide further information regarding use of proxies, advance voting and shareholders’ right to submit items of business for consideration at general meetings, please click on the Annual General Meeting article on the bottom of this page..
Under Article 12, second paragraph, of the Articles of Association, the Board of Directors may decide that documents concerning items of business to be considered at the general meeting are not to be sent to shareholders when the documents are made available on the company’s website. This also applies to documents which by law must be included in or attached to the notice of the general meeting. A shareholder may nonetheless request that documents pertaining to items of business to be considered at the general meeting be sent to him or her. The provision in the Articles of Association departs from the general rule in Chapter 5 of the Public Limited Liability Companies Act which prescribes that the annual financial statements, the report of the Board of Directors, the auditor’s report and the Board of Directors’ statement of guidelines for the remuneration of the executive management pursuant to section 6-16a must be sent to all shareholders no later than one week before the general meeting.
The general meeting is led by an independent chair proposed by the Board of Directors; this person will normally be the Chair of the Nomination Committee.
Members of the Board of Directors are present at general meetings, but normally not the entire Board has attended. No items of business at general meetings have made this necessary to date. The Board Chair, the general manager and the heads of the various business areas are always present in order to reply to any questions that may be raised.