2019 Annual General Meeting – Voting Results Update Statement
18 October 2019
At the Company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 25 April 2019 all resolutions were passed. However we acknowledged the significant vote of 25.59% against Resolution 16 – Renewal of Directors' Authority to Allot Shares – in our AGM voting results announcement , which has been noted on the UK Investment Association (IA) register of shareholder votes.
We have since engaged with a range of shareholders that voted against this resolution to better understand their position. Through this engagement, we have seen divergence between prevailing UK market practice for FTSE companies to retain an authority to allot in line with the IA share capital management guidelines, and governance policies maintained by those shareholders voting against this resolution. This includes shareholders in South Africa, who either do not support a general allotment authority or only support a general authority at lower levels.
While we recognise that some shareholders are unable to support an allotment authority at the level sought, we note this level of authority continues to be supported by the majority of our shareholders and is in line with prevailing UK market practice. Although there is no present intention to exercise this authority, we continue to consider that this level of authority is appropriate to maintain flexibility for the Company.
We will maintain dialogue with shareholders for which this authority continues to present concerns and will keep best practice in this area under review. A final update will be provided in the Company’s Annual Report and Form 20-F 2019, prior to the Company’s AGM in 2020.