The Combined Shareholders’ Meeting of Air Liquide, chaired by Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, was held today at the Group’s headquarters. In order to protect the health and safety of employees and shareholders during the COVID-19 epidemic, the annual meeting was held behind closed doors and broadcasted live on the airliquide.com website. As the meeting was not open to shareholders in person, all of the items on the agenda were voted on by mail. A total of 105 445 shareholders voted, representing 245 656 385 shares, 52,11 % of the voting rights, approving all of the resolutions that were submitted. In addition, it has been decided to donate the amount of attendance fees usually paid to shareholders attending the Shareholders’ Meeting to the Air Liquide Foundation for covid-19 related research projects.
The theme of this year's Shareholders’ Meeting was "Always Believe in the Future and, more than ever, Invent it." Benoît Potier commented on the Group’s mobilization in the face of the sanitary crisis, paying tribute to the employees. He also reviewed the Group’s performance and outlook, recalling in particular the strength and resilience of its business model. More than 40 minutes were devoted to answering the questions asked by the shareholders via the company’s website, chosen from among those that generated the most interest.
The proposed dividend, with an ex-date of May 11 and a payment date of May 13, 2020, was approved: it will be 2.70 euros per share (and 2.97 euros per share eligible for the loyalty bonus).
The Shareholders renewed, for a period of four years, the terms of office of Mr. Brian Gilvary. Ms. Anette Bronder and Ms. Kim Ann Mink also joined the Board of Directors as independent members. The terms of office of Ms. Karen Katen and Mr. Pierre Dufour having come to an end following this year’s meeting, the Board reiterated its warm thanks for their contribution to the Board and its committees. Accordingly, the Board of Directors is composed of 12 members, including 6 women, and 6 members who are not French. The current composition of the Board offers a complementary mix of experience, nationalities and cultures, and reflects the diversity policy conducted by the Board.
In addition, the Shareholders voted in favor of the resolution concerning the remuneration of the Chairman and CEO for fiscal year 2019. The Shareholders also approved the information pertaining to the remuneration of corporate officers mentioned in the Report on Corporate Governance and the Policy governing the Remuneration of corporate officers.
Lastly, on the recommendation of the Appointments and Governance Committee, the Board, during its meeting held today, renewed members of its committees, the composition of which is now as follows:
- Audit and Accounts Committee: Ms. Siân Herbert-Jones (Chairwoman), Ms. Sin Leng Low, Mr. Thierry Peugeot, Mr. Brian Gilvary
- Appointments and Governance Committee: Mr. Jean-Paul Agon (Chairman), Ms. Annette Winkler, Mr. Xavier Huillard
- Remuneration Committee: Mr. Xavier Huillard (Chairman), Mr. Jean-Paul Agon, Mr. Brian Gilvary
- Environment and Society Committee: Ms. Annette Winkler (Chairwoman), Ms. Geneviève Berger, Mr. Philippe Dubrulle
The entire Shareholders’ Meeting can be viewed as a webcast on www.airliquide.com
- 32% of the capital held by individual shareholders
- 51% of the capital held by non-French institutional investors
- 17% of the capital held by French institutional investors
Dividend ex-date: Monday, May 11, 2020
Dividend payment date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020