China: 股权优先购买权之"同等条件"

Last Updated: 1 April 2019
Article by Jiang Tao and Gu Ting
Most Read Contributor in China, March 2019

股权优先购买权与有限责任公司这一组织形式相伴相依,其设置的初衷是为了维护有限责任公司的人合性和封闭性,意在尽可能保护老股东之间的信赖关系,尽量减少外人的参与。伴随着《公司法司法解释四》的出台,股权优先购买权的行使要件进一步明晰,但司法实践中仍旧存在大量的细节问题模糊不清,例如,股转通知的形式和内容,同等条件的判定标准,反对股东购买股权的定价标准,赞成票股东是否有权优先购买,无偿股权转让是否适用优先购买权等等。鉴于本文篇幅有限,笔者暂且就股权优先购买权行使要件之一的"同等条件"进行针对性梳理,通过案例分析的形式列举有关实务问题,并尝试给出相应解决思路。

案例:A公司为一家有限责任公司,甲、乙、丙均为A公司的股东,其中甲持股70%,乙持股10%,丙持股20%。2010年6月,甲意欲将其持有的40%股权以3元/股的方式转让给丁,将其持有的20%股权以1元/股的方式转让给朋友戊,将其持有的8%股权赠与给亲戚己,在遗嘱中明确将其持有的2%股权留给儿子庚。同时,受让方丁、戊、己均同意按照受让股权比例承担A公司的债权债务。其中,戊作为高级技术人员,向甲承诺其将全职投入A公司的技术运营,且劳动合同期限不少于三年。现甲就上述股权转让向乙丙发出通知。

问题一:

甲作为持股70%的大股东,其自身发起股权转让是否已经满足了"过半数股东同意"的条件?更进一步而言,优先购买权行使的前提"过半数"是指股权比例过半还是股东人数过半?

简析:

关于甲作为绝对大股东对外转让股权,是否就无需经由其他股东同意的问题。根据《公司法》第七十一条第二款的规定,股东向股东以外的人转让股权的,应当经其他股东过半数同意。正如公司法第十六条对外担保决议一样,公司法明确对决议的利益相关方进行了隔离。针对股东对外转让的决议,应当由出让股东之外的其他股东进行表决。因此,本案中甲方虽然是70%的大股东,其对外转股的行为仍旧需要征得小股东乙丙的同意。

关于"过半数"是指股权比例过半还是股东人数过半的问题,笔者通过关键词检索了现有案例,摘录部分判例如下:

根据上述案例不难发现,目前司法实践中就"过半数"是指表决权比例还是人数占比的问题并无统一结论。法律法规目前就此尚无明确规定。但考虑到优先购买权的制定根基是有限责任公司的人合性,即尽可能保障股东内部的紧密联系,故立法者的本意可能更倾向于人数过半。同时,公司法其他决议的比例表述为"表决权过半数",而此处的表述仅为"过半数",故二者可能更倾向于不同的表决比例规定。

当然,考虑到以上猜测并无明确的法条支撑。因此,笔者建议公司在章程制定伊始,就将此"过半数"的具体含义明确在章程文本中。

问题二:

甲对乙丙发出征询通知时,仅载明股权转让的意愿,或者仅载明股权转让价款,未载明债权债务承担、技术支持等条件,是否属于适格通知?

简析:

股权转让通知是股东行使优先购买权期限的起点,对整个股权对外转让的进程有着重要影响。根据 《公司法司法解释四》第十七条的规定,股权对外转让的,转让股东应当就股权转让事项以书面或者其他能够确认收悉的合理方式通知其他股东征求同意。第二十条进一步明确,其他股东自知道或应当知道行使优先购买权的同等条件之日起三十日内没有主张,或者自股权变更登记之日起超过一年的除外。由此,股权转让方通知其他股东必须采用能够确认收悉的方式,且应当将"同等条件"明确告知其他股东。

那么,通知需要载明的"同等条件"具体应当载明哪些内容?仅载明股权转让价款是否足够?是否需要载明股权转让交易的全部条款?公司法等相关规定中并未予以明确。目前仅有 《上海市高级人民法院关于审理涉及有限责任公司股东优先购买权案件若干问题的意见》(上海市高级人民法院2008年3月25日发布并施行,沪高法民二〔2008〕1号)对此有更为具体的规定,股东依照 公司法第七十二条第二款的规定,向股东以外的人转让股权,就股权转让事项征求其他股东同意的书面通知,应当包括拟受让人的有关情况、拟转让股权的数量、价格及履行方式等主要转让条件。通知中主要转让条件不明确,无法通过合同解释和补充方法予以明确的,视为未发出过书面通知。

在上诉人张A与被上诉人狮龙公司、王A、马某某、李某某、李某、成某、杨某某、赵某某、李某某、唐某某、张某、熊某某、李A、岳某某、李B、李C、李D、明某某、王某某、南川区方博公司一案 [1]中,案件焦点之一为股转的同等条件是否业已向原股东披露。二审法院认为,本案中,狮龙公司等19名股东于2010年2月2日向张A发出的股权转让通知书,将转让股权的数量、价款、拟转让对象及付款期限等情况告知张A。结合双方之前的往来函件,可以确认,通过双方的要约和承诺,已经就股权转让达成了框架性的协议,该协议涵盖了转让的数量、价款、付款的方式。张A要求提供狮龙公司等19名股东与南川区方博公司签订的转让股份协议及细则,无论该协议是否存在,这本身并非行使优先购买权的必要条件。只要狮龙公司等19名股东向非股东第三方南川区方博公司和向张A提出的购买条件是同等的即可认定"同等条件"业已披露。而在潘珠与王淑连股权转让纠纷一案 [2]中,法院认为本案中,王淑连等16位股东并未在其发出的通知中明确披露第三人系何人,亦未明确已经签订股权转让合同及股权转让合同的具体内容。该通知仅仅明确了股权转让的单价及付款条件。而对双方应何时签订股权转让合同,何时办理股权转让手续、代持关联公司股份的股东如何办理相关手续等均未明确,而这些内容在王淑连等16位股东曾将其股权转让给潘珠的过程中产生分歧,以致股权转让手续进展缓慢。因此,王淑连等16位股东向潘珠等发出的股权转让通知书,仅表明其有按一定价款和条件对外转让股权的意愿,并未反映其与第三人有实际签订股权转让合同,潘珠回复通知表示接受股权转让条件和价款,行使优先购买权,该两份通知并不能构成股权转让的要约与承诺,不具有强制股东向其他股东转让股权的法律约束力,潘珠主张行使股东优先购买权并强制王淑连转让其股权,本院不予支持。

综合上述,适格的"同等条件"通知不仅应当载明受让人的有关情况、拟转让股权的数量、价格及履行方式等主要转让条件,亦应当载明对股转交易进程有实质性影响的条款,例如股转手续、债务承担、劳务加入等等。如此方可视为适格通知,方可起算优先购买权的行使期限。

问题三:

若乙欲对丁拟受让的40%股权行使优先购买权,其愿意支付3元/股的价格,但不愿意承担同等比例债权债务,是否满足"同等条件"?

简析:

《公司法》对"同等条件"并无具体规定。 《公司法司法解释四》第十八条进行了细化,人民法院在判断是否符合 公司法第七十一条第三款及本规定所称的"同等条件"时,应当考虑转让股权的数量、价格、支付方式及期限等因素。但即便如此,由于股权转让协议错综复杂,股权转让交易的谈判要素盘根错节,因此,法院在判定"同等条件"时仍需综合考量股转数量、价格、支付方式及期限以外的因素。

正如潘珠与王淑连股权转让纠纷一案 [3]中所述,鉴于何时办理股权转让手续、代持关联公司股份的股东如何办理相关手续等内容实质性影响了股转交易双方的谈判进程,因此亦属于"同等条件"的必要因素。上海二中院在某股转纠纷案件 [4]中陈述,所谓优先购买权的同等条件,是指出让股东与股东以外的第三人之间合同确定的主要转让条件,如出让股东与受让人约定的投资、业务合作、债务承担等条件,也应认定为主要条件。

故,文首案例中若乙不接受同比例债务承担,则无法满足"同等条件"的要求,不得行使优先购买权。

问题四:

若乙欲对丁拟受让的40%股权行使优先购买权,其愿意支付3元/股的价格,但其资金流短缺,此次只能购买其中20%的股权,是否满足"同等条件"?亦即,优先购买权可否部分行使?

简析:

同问题三的分析,转让股权的数量亦属于股权转让交易的主要条件,原股东仅购买部分股权的主张不符合"同等条件"的要求,优先购买权不得部分行使。

问题五:

若丙欲对戊拟受让的20%股权行使优先购买权,甲表示其之所以给出1元/股的价格,完全是考虑到其与戊之间的深厚友谊,换谁都拿不到这个价。那么,丙若执意行使优先购买权,其股权价格按照何种标准计算?

简析:

正如上述问题分析,股权转让交易条款的影响因素错综复杂,故,"同等条件"必须个案综合判断。本案中,甲与戊之间的股转交易价格"1元/股"是基于情谊的考量,该等基于特殊人身、情感关系的股转条件如何换算为"同等条件"是实务中的常见问题。

有学者认为,"如果股权转让人基于某种特殊原因,给予了第三人一个相对优惠的价格,而这些特殊原因能以金钱计算,则应当折算成金钱计入价格之中。如果不能折算成金钱,那么应以市场价格来确定 [5]。"而反对者认为,在现实生活中,促成优惠价格实现的特殊原因多种多样,要将其折算成金钱存在一定的难度,而且违背了一般的道德准则。"即使以市场价格来补偿,也只能使股权转让人眼前的现实利益得以维护,仍会损害其未来利益及其与第三人之间的各种利益关系。另外一方面,这些特殊原因能否用金钱来代替,应当由股权转让人根据自身的实际情况来判断,不能由优先购买权人来衡量 [6]"。

从交易实践来看,能够以金钱计算的因素大可以折算为一定金额计入同等条件,真正的难点在于不能以金钱计算的因素是否需要折算以及如何折算的问题,例如亲情、友情等因素。目前国内法律法规及司法判例对此尚无定论,学界观点有明显分歧。部分观点认为该等特殊关系因素本质上就是以牵扯他人利益的股权来"送人情",在价值取向上就不值得提倡,因此优先购买权的"同等条件"不需要考虑特殊关系要素,优先权股东可以按照同等的低价购买股权。还有观点认为优先购买权制度设置本是为了在较小的程度上限制股权转让,但依旧不得突破市场交易自由原则,股权转让方有权对自己合法享有的股权自由定价。因此,特殊关系要素不得被"同等条件"排除在外。

笔者更倾向于后者的观点,倘若完全不考虑人情因素,限制股权转让方自由选择交易对象、自由确定交易价格的权利,则过多侵害了股权转让方的利益。此外,鉴于这些特殊关系不能以金钱衡量,笔者理解,此种情况下,为了兼顾转让股东、优先权股东及第三人等各方的利益,目前较为合适的解决方式是以市场公允估价来确定"同等条件"中的股权转让价格。

问题六:

对于甲拟赠与给己的8%股权,乙丙是否有权行使优先购买权?亦即,无偿的股权转让是否适用优先购买权制度?

简析:

司法实践中对无偿股权转让是否适用优先购买权制度观点不一。部分观点认为优先购买权的行使前提是"同等条件",而无偿的股权转让不存在转让条件,故而并不适用 [7]。部分观点认为公司法优先购买权的条文中仅载明"股权转让",并未另行标注有偿或无偿,且即便是无偿的股权转让,亦存在破坏有限责任公司人合性的风险,因此无偿股权转让亦应当赋予其他股东优先购买权 [8]

笔者更倾向于后者。从目的解释的角度,优先购买权制度设置的初衷是维护有限责任公司的人合性和封闭性。若在无偿的股权转让中直接排除该制度的适用,则无疑给股权交易双方过大的空间去冲击公司内部结构,交易双方大可通过股权转让交易之外的因素对该等无偿转让的利益分配进行修正。故,笔者认为立法者本意并未将无偿的股权转让排除在优先购买权的适用范围之外。

问题七:

若甲遭遇不测,现其子庚欲按照遗嘱继承2%股权。此时乙丙是否有权行使优先购买权?若有权行使,"同等条件"如何确定?

简析:

《公司法》第七十五条规定,自然人股东死亡后,其合法继承人可以继承股东资格,但公司章程另有规定的除外。 《公司法司法解释四》第十六条明确,有限责任公司的自然人股东因继承发生变化时,其他股东主张依据 公司法第七十一条第三款规定行使优先购买权的,人民法院不予支持,但公司章程另有规定或者全体股东另有约定的除外。

因此,在股权继承中,原则上不适用优先购买权制度,公司章程规定或全体股东另行约定的除外。

值得注意的是,在离婚案件中,涉及分割夫妻共同财产中以一方名义在有限责任公司的出资额,另一方不是该公司股东的,根据 《婚姻法司法解释二》第十六条的规定,该等情形适用公司法股东优先购买权制度。

文中注释

[1](2011)渝高法民终字第266号,重庆市高级人民法院。

[2](2015)中中法民二终字第639号,中山市中级人民法院。

[3](2015)中中法民二终字第639号,中山市中级人民法院。

[4](2012)沪二中民四(商)终字第16号,上海市第二中级人民法院。

[5] 王利明:《中国民法案例与学理研究:物权篇》,法律出版社1998年版,第346页。

[6] 刘云升:《先买权制度法律价值等诸问题的探讨——兼论先买权制度在未来民法典上的定位》,载《河北法学》2000年第5期。

[7] 张怡萍、张震权等与上海闵富房地产有限公司公司决议效力确认纠纷案,(2015)闵民二(商)初字第588号,上海市闵行区人民法院。"优先购买权系建立在有偿转让的基础之上,本案中陈孝向杨茹妹转让股权系无偿赠与。因此,并不存在"购买"股权的"同等条件",原告并不享有优先购买权"。

[8] 孔芝人与孔庆瑞、姜慧股权转让纠纷案,(2014)牟商初字第11号,烟台市牟平区人民法院。"虽然被告姜慧和孔某认为涉案股权转让合同系无偿赠与合同,但因赠与的标的物――股权自身的特殊性(同时具有身份权、财产权和管理权),必须受到《中华人民共和国公司法》和第三人的公司章程的约束,而该两文件中均未对是否有偿转让作出不同的处理规定,所以本院对二被告认为本案的无偿股权转让合同不存在优先购买权等程序条件的抗辩主张不予支持";郭靖洪与姜波、沈阳倍盈科技有限公司、鞍山鑫普新材料有限公司公司盈余分配纠纷案,(2015)辽审一民申字第652号,辽宁省高院,"依据《中华人民共和国公司法》第七十二条、辽宁鑫普公司章程第六章第九条、第七章第十一条(五)项,辽宁鑫普公司股东向股东以外的人转让出资时,必须经全体股东过半数同意,且其他股东享有优先购买权。而郭靖洪未能提供证据证明《股权赠与协议》经全体股东过半数同意及其他股东放弃优先购买权等事实,郭靖洪应承担举证不利的后果。因此,《股权赠与协议》不符合《中华人民共和国公司法》和辽宁鑫普公司章程规定的股权转让程序和条件"。

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
 
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”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions