Governance in Brief – April 14, 2022

Posted on April 14, 2022

 

April 14, 2022 | Editor: Martin Wennerström

 

Amazon investors to vote on warehouse labor audit

Amazon’s May 25 AGM will consider a shareholder proposal calling for an independent audit of the firm’s treatment of warehouse workers, following a refusal from the SEC the exclude the proposal from the ballot. The regulator’s backing of the proposal is in line with its guidance published last year, which facilitates AGM votes on investor proposals that concern social and environmental issues. Notably, the e-commerce giant has faced criticism over working conditions and anti-union measures. Most recently, Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island, New York, voted on April 1 to form a union – the first one for Amazon staff in the US. In response, the company filed an objection with U.S. authorities, accusing the organizers of having used coercion to attain the requisite level of support.

Elon Musk makes unsolicited bid for Twitter

On April 14, Elon Musk made an offer to acquire the entirety of Twitter’s outstanding stock at USD 54.20 a share. The offer represents a 38% premium on the share price immediately before Musk’s surprise announcement on April 4 that he had amassed a 9.2% stake in the company. Musk had previously declined the offer of a board seat at the firm in exchange for a commitment to cap his ownership interest at 14.9%. Musk, who has faced repeated regulatory scrutiny for his own activity on the microblogging platform, has previously criticized Twitter’s approach to online free speech.

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Netherlands to oppose CEO pay at Air France-KLM’s AGM

Dutch Finance minister Sigrid Kaag has described the proposed 2021 compensation for Air France-KLM's CEO as "incomprehensible" in light of the airline’s EUR 3.3 billion losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister added that the Dutch state, owner of a 9.3% stake in the firm, would vote against the CEO’s pay at the May AGM. Notably, the airline has benefited from large state financial support, including a EUR 3.4 billion government-backed bailout package in 2020. The company stated that bonuses will be deferred, and no variable remuneration will be paid out until the repayment of at least 75% of the recapitalization funds. 


Russia approves delisting of foreign-traded Russian securities

Russia’s lower house of parliament has approved a bill regarding the delisting of companies that are registered in Russia and traded on foreign bourses. The bill will allow the conversion of their depositary receipts into equities traded domestically, and companies will have five days to terminate agreements to trade abroad. The bill will not impact Russian companies which IPOed abroad. Notably, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, foreign bourses have halted the trading of Russian securities amid plummeting prices. The bill is now awaiting the approval of the upper house and President Vladimir Putin to take effect


 

 

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