Cayman Islands: 将开曼群岛公司私有化:利益相关者的选项

此为Carey Olsen发出的关于"私有化"交易的第二份通告, 如欲 查阅第一份文件,请 点击此处。该等交易涉及将上市的开曼群岛 公司私有化 ,此举通常作为在更为有利的证券交易所重新上市的 第一步。

最近已利用公司法第十六部分(经修订,下文简称"法律")中 的法定合并机制完成多项私有化交易。但是,由于异议股东在合 并后提起诉讼,部分客户考虑采用其他方法实现相同的目的。存 在其他两种方法:法律第86节下的协议安排以及法律第88节下的 要约收购和"强制挤出"。

本通告概述了将开曼群岛公司私有化的不同法律选项,并分析了 各自的潜在利弊(请参考附录: 表格摘要)。

开曼群岛合并机制

若采用法定合并机制将上市公司私有化,通常通过成立与上市的 目标开曼群岛公司合并的新开曼群岛公司开始相关流程。合并条 款载于正式的合并计划中,董事会(或董事会的特别委员会)应 咨询金融专家,制定合并计划,金融专家应提供有关股份要约价 格的公平性及其他项目的意见。在获得董事会批准后,公司的股 东(2/3或公司章程规定的更多股东)必须通过特别决议投票同 意合并。

此外,若要约人及其联属公司合共控制上市公司90%或以上的股 份,则可实施精简合并机制,无需股东批准。但是,即使在这种 情况下,少数股东仍享有异议股东权利(见下文)。

"异议股东"/"公允价值"规定

"异议"股东指在对拟议合并进行投票前提出书面异议,要求若 投票同意合并须购买他们的股份的股东。在公司向异议股东发出 关于合并已获批准的通知后,异议股东可要求按"公允价值"购 买他们的股份。若异议股东与公司未能在其后30天内议定相关价 格,公司必须(且股东可)根据法律第238条提出呈请,要求法 院厘定股份的"公允价值"。

利用"强制挤出"规定的要约收购

该流程涉及要约人向股东提出购买上市公司全部股本的要约。若 用于私有化目的,要约人一般为新近成立的公司。要约人可自由 设定其认为合适的最低接受门槛,在达到最低门槛及满足其他条 件后,即可收购股份。

若持有"与要约有关的股份"至少90%的股东在要约作出后四个 月内接受该要约,要约人可在其后两个月内通知异议股东,按照 与初始要约相同的条款收购余下的股份。

"与要约有关的股份"不包括要约人(或其联属公司或一致行动 方)在要约日之前已收购的股份以及属于要收购的有约束力的合 同标的的股份。但是,受接受要约的不可撤销的承诺规限的股份 一般计入该90%门槛。要约收购通常须遵循股份上市所在的证券 交易所的规则及法规,但这不在本通告的讨论范围内。

异议股东的权利

异议股东可在接到要约人通知后一个月内向法院申请豁免强制收 购程序。法院具有签发其认为合适的任何命令的广泛裁量权。但 是,与第238节的异议股东流程不同,在与"强制挤出"有关的 申请中,法院一般不会介入,除非异议股东可证明他们已受到相 较同一类别的其他股东不公平或不利的对待。__

协议安排

协议安排指公司与其债权人或股东(或其任何类别的债权人或股 东)签署且经法院根据法律第86条规定批准的妥协或安排。它可 以比合并更灵活。例如,代价可包括换股、现金或两者组合。 实施协议安排涉及至少两次法院聆讯以及召开一次或多次股东会 议批准相关安排。因此,可能耗时较长,导致成本高昂的私有化 流程。但是,若获得批准,可为要约人提供关于经济成果的确定 性,因为不会有后续的异议股东"公允价值"厘定流程。

为私有化实施协议安排所需的步骤如下:

  • 第一次/"召开"聆讯:向法院提交呈请以及非正审传票,请 求法院签发召开股东会议以批准相关安排的命令。传票必须以 载明拟议安排的誓章、"解释性声明"以及所有辅助文件支 持。通常会向股东发出第一次聆讯通知,以便他们提出关于股 份/投票类别构成的异议。
  • 协议安排会议:在第一次聆讯后,根据法庭的指令召开会议。 若要批准协议安排,需要获得代表出席及有权投票的每类别股 东价值75%的简单多数票的批准。
  • 第二次/"裁决"聆讯:在第二次聆讯之前提交载列协议安排 会议结果的第二份誓章。在此次聆讯中,法院将确定是否批准 该协议安排。在会议上投票的股东以及在协议安排中具有实质 性经济利益的其他任何人士可出席第二次聆讯。

当批准协议安排的命令在公司注册处备案时,该协议安排即生 效。一旦生效,相关协议安排将对所有股东有约束力,不论他们 是否投票支持该协议安排。

类别构成

在大多数情况下会出现的问题是:是否存在一个"类别"以上的 股东,以及若存在多个类别的股东,为每个类别举行多次、单独 的股东会议的需求。在这种情况下,"类别"并非仅指所发行的 不同的股份类别(虽然在确定股东是否应在相同类别投票时,赋 予不同类别股份的权利是相关考虑因素)。类别构成通常会引起 激烈的争辩,因为(例如)如果一或多个少数股东被裁定构成单 独的股东类别,他们可享有对协议安排的否决权。

总之,指定的股东类别应包括其权利"的差异性并不足以使他们 无法就他们的共同利益展开商议"的成员。这一般涉及对股东的 法定权利(而非商业利益)以及拟议的协议安排将如何影响这些 权利的分析。股东无需拥有相同的权利即可构成同一类别。

公平性测试

类别的构成应在第一次/召开聆讯时确定。法院并不希望在股东 会议召开之后再次考虑该问题。若要批准协议安排,必须令法院 信纳,会议已满足法定要求且协议安排在实质上公平。实际上, 若已满足法定多数票要求且并无程序违规,仅基于公平性提出的 质疑很少取得成功。但是,对于以下情况,法院可拒绝批准相关 协议安排:

  • 会议并未妥为获得股东参与(不论是亲自或通过代理参与), 投票的股东并未代表公平的门槛票数。
  • 协议安排文件并未包含股东决定如何投票合理所需的所有信 息;或
  • 在会议之前出现新的重大信息或情况变更,致使股东无法在投 票之前进行评估。

选项的比较

问题:对于私有化,要约人何时应考虑第238节合并的替代方 案?

答案:在初始阶段——在评估经济可行性、公司架构及交易的时 间框架时。异议股东行动风险可能会危及交易的商业目标,尤其 是以下情况:

  • 拟议的合并代价是新的私有公司的股份而非现金(或仅部分现 金);及/或
  • 公司的价值较高,但用于买断异议股东股份的可用现金(或筹 资的能力)相对较低。

上市公司中多达1/3的股东能够提出异议及提起旨在获得更高价 格的法院程序,可能会影响拟议的私有化交易的经济可行性。

问题:协议安排何时是更有利的选项?

答案:虽然协议安排始终至少涉及两次法院聆讯,但这并不意味 着它一定会耗时及产生高昂的成本。协议安排相较合并的最重要 优势是,一旦获得会议(75%的价值以及每类别股东的简单多数 票)及法院的批准,引发进一步的诉讼或须向投票反对协议安排 的股东支付额外款项的风险较低。

较高的确定性以及相较要约收购和"强制挤出"更低的股东批准 门槛,使协议安排在某些情况下成为极有吸引力的选项。此外, 协议安排有助于实施无法通过合并或要约收购实现的复杂的重组 选项(包括应对债权人)。

问题:要约收购和"强制挤出"何时是更有利的选项?
>

答案:当要约人确信上市公司至少90%的股东(不包括要约人的 联属公司或一致行动方)会接受私有化要约时。要约收购须满足 指定的股东批准门槛(受上市规则规限)。一旦实现90%的接受 度,可根据法律第88节"强制挤出"任何异议股东,且并无引发 后续"公允价值"法院程序及支付更高的购买价格的风险。但 是,若未能达到90%的门槛,则存在若不实施进一步的法律程序 (如,合并或协议安排)则无法将公司私有化的风险。

问题:能否同时采用不同的私有化选项?

答案:简单来说,可以。但是,应该在初始规划阶段进行分析, 因为某些组合可行,其他一些则未必。例如,如果合并已经进展 到股东提出异议的阶段,协议安排不大可能有效。异议股东可能 会构成单独的类别,他们可以投票反对相关协议安排。

相反,实施要约收购流程可能更为有效,一旦要约人及其联属公 司持有90%的股份,即可实施第 233(7)节下的"精简"合并而非 第88节下的"强制挤出"。该方法的好处包括要约人及其联属公 司的股份可计入90%的股东门槛(对于"强制挤出",这些股份 不予计入),而且四至六个月的"强制挤出"实施期将不予适 用。__

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
28 Nov 2017, Conference, London, UK

BVCA's tax, legal and regulatory conference takes place on 28 November 2017 at Savoy Place, London.

24 Jan 2018, Conference, St Peter Port, Guernsey

In association with the Guernsey Training Agency, we are pleased to offer a unique, interactive event that will explore the role of integrity in the modern employment relationship, with a particular focus on the financial services sector.

15 Mar 2018, Seminar, St Peter Port, Guernsey

We are once again sponsoring C5 Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery which is due to take place on 15-16 March 2018 (tbc) in Geneva.

 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Emails

From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.