In connection with the Merger, CNH Industrial implemented a loyalty voting structure, pursuant to which the former shareholders of each of Fiat Industrial and CNH Global were able to elect to receive one CNH Industrial special voting share with a nominal value of €0.01 per share for each CNH Industrial common share they were entitled to receive in the Merger, provided that they fulfilled the requirements described in the terms and conditions of the special voting shares. Such shareholders had their CNH Industrial common shares registered in a separate register (the “Loyalty Register”) of CNH Industrial’s share register. Following this registration, a corresponding number of special voting shares were allocated to such shareholders, and the additional voting rights could be exercised at the first CNH Industrial shareholders’ meeting which followed the registration. By signing an election form, whose execution was necessary to elect to receive special voting shares, shareholders also agreed to be bound by the terms and conditions thereof, including the transfer restrictions described below. The terms and conditions applicable to special voting shares are available on the Company’s website (www.cnhindustrial.com).
Following the completion of the Merger, CNH Industrial shareholders may at any time elect to participate in the loyalty voting structure by requesting that CNH Industrial registers all or some of their CNH Industrial common shares in the Loyalty Register. If these CNH Industrial common shares have been registered in the Loyalty Register (and thus blocked from trading in the regular trading system) for an uninterrupted period of three years in the name of the same shareholder, such shares become eligible to receive special voting shares (the “Qualifying Common Shares”) and the relevant shareholder will be entitled to receive one special voting share for each such Qualifying Common Share.
If at any time such CNH Industrial common shares are de-registered from the Loyalty Register for whatever reason, the relevant shareholder shall lose his/her/its entitlement to hold a corresponding number of special voting shares.
A holder of Qualifying Common Shares may at any time request the de-registration of some or all such shares from the Loyalty Register, which will allow such shareholder to freely trade its CNH Industrial common shares. From the moment of such request, the holder of Qualifying Common Shares shall be considered to have waived his/her/its rights to cast any votes associated with such Qualifying Common Shares. Upon the de-registration from the Loyalty Register, the relevant shares will therefore cease to be Qualifying Common Shares. Any de-registration request would automatically trigger a mandatory transfer requirement pursuant to which the special voting shares will be acquired by CNH Industrial for no consideration (om niet) in accordance with the terms and conditions of the special voting shares.
CNH Industrial’s common shares are freely transferable. However, any transfer or disposal of CNH Industrial’s common shares with which special voting shares are associated would trigger the de-registration of such common shares from the Loyalty Register and the transfer of all relevant special voting shares to CNH Industrial. Special voting shares are not admitted to listing and are transferable only in very limited circumstances. In particular, no shareholder shall, directly or indirectly: (a) sell, dispose of or transfer any special voting share or otherwise grant any right or interest therein; or (b) create or permit to exist any pledge, lien, fixed or floating charge or other encumbrance over any special voting share or any interest in any special voting share.
The purpose of the loyalty voting structure is to grant long-term CNH Industrial shareholders an extra voting right by means of granting a special voting share (shareholders holding special voting shares are entitled to exercise one vote for each special voting share held and one vote for each CNH Industrial common share held), without entitling such shareholders to any economic rights, other than those pertaining to the CNH Industrial common shares. However, under Dutch law, the special voting shares cannot be excluded from economic entitlements. As a result, in accordance with CNH Industrial’s Articles of Association, holders of special voting shares are entitled to a minimum dividend, which is allocated to a separate special dividend reserve (the “Special Dividend Reserve”). The distribution of dividends from the Special Dividend Reserve can only be approved by the general meeting of the holders of special voting shares upon proposal of the Board of Directors of CNH Industrial. The power to vote upon the distribution from the Special Dividend Reserve is the only power that is granted to that meeting, which can only be convened by the Board of Directors as it deems necessary. The special voting shares do not have any other economic entitlement.
Section 10 of the special voting shares terms and conditions includes liquidated damages provisions intended to discourage any attempt by holders of special voting shares to violate the terms thereof. These liquidated damages provisions may be enforced by CNH Industrial by means of a legal action brought by the Company in the courts of The Netherlands. In particular, a violation of the provisions of the above-mentioned terms and condition concerning the transfer of special voting shares may lead to the imposition of liquidated damages.
Pursuant to Section 12 of the special voting shares terms and conditions, any amendment to the terms and conditions (other than merely technical, non-material amendments) may only be made with the approval of the general meeting of shareholders of CNH Industrial.
A shareholder must promptly notify CNH Industrial upon the occurrence of a change of control, which is defined in Article 4(1)(n) of the Articles of Association as including any direct or indirect transfer, carried out through one or a series of related transactions, by a CNH Industrial shareholder that is not an individual (natuurlijk persoon) of (i) the ownership or control of 50% or more of the voting rights of such shareholder, (ii) the de facto ability to direct the casting of 50% or more of the votes which may be expressed at the general meetings of such shareholder, or (iii) the ability to appoint or remove half or more of the Directors, executive Directors or Board members or executive officers of such shareholder or to direct the casting of 50% or more of the voting rights at meetings of the Board, governing body or executive committee of such shareholder. In accordance with Article 4(1)(n) of the Articles of Association, no change of control shall be deemed to have occurred if (i) the transfer of ownership and/or control is the result of the succession or the liquidation of assets between spouses or the inheritance, inter vivos donation or other transfer to a spouse or a relative up to and including the fourth degree or (ii) the fair market value of the Qualifying Common Shares held by the relevant CNH Industrial’s shareholder represents less than 20% of the total assets of the Transferred Group at the time of the transfer and the Qualifying Common Shares, in the sole judgment of CNH Industrial, are not otherwise material to the Transferred Group or the change of control transaction. Article 4(1)(n) of the Articles of Association defines “Transferred Group” as comprising the relevant shareholder together with its affiliates, if any, over which control was transferred as part of the same change of control transaction, as such term in defined in Article 4(1)(n) of CNH Industrial’s Articles of Association. A change of control will trigger the de-registration of the relevant Qualifying Common Shares from the Loyalty Register and the suspension of the special voting rights attached to the Qualifying Common Shares.
If the Company were to be dissolved and liquidated, after all the debts of the Company have been paid, any remaining balances would be distributed in the following order of priority: (i) first, to satisfy the aggregate balance of share premium reserves and other reserves to the holders of CNH Industrial common shares in proportion to the number of common shares held by each of them; (ii) second, an amount equal to the aggregate amount of the nominal value of the CNH Industrial common shares to the holders thereof in proportion to the number of common shares held by each of them; (iii) third, an amount equal to the aggregate amount of the Special Dividend Reserve to the holders of special voting shares in proportion to the number of special voting shares held by each of them; and (iv) fourth, the aggregate amount of the nominal value of the special voting shares to the holders thereof in proportion to the number of special voting shares held by each of them.
No liquidation payments will be made on shares that the Company holds in treasury.