Change of Control
James Hardie is subject to Irish Takeover Rules. The Irish Takeover Rules regulate takeover and merger transactions, however effected, by which control of a public limited company incorporated in Ireland with a listing of its equity securities on certain specified stock exchanges, includign the New York Stock Exchange, may be obtained or consolidated. Control means holding or aggregate holding of shares carrying 30% or more of the voting rights of a relevant company, irrespective of whether the holding or holdings give de facto control.
The Irish Takeover Rules are built on the following general principles that apply to any transaction regulated by such rules:
- All holders of the securities of an offeree of the same class must be afforded equivalent treatment; moreover, if a person acquires control of a company, the other holders of securities must be protected.
- The holders of the securities of an offeree must have sufficient time and information to enable them to reach a properly informed decision on the offer; where it advises the holders of securities, the board of the offeree must give its views on the effects of implementation of the offer on employment, considerations of employment and the locations of the offeree’s places of business.
- The board of an offeree must act in the interests of the company as a whole and must not deny the holders of securities the opportunity to decide on the merits of the offer.
- False markets must not be created in the securities of the offeree, of the offeror or of any other company concerned by the offer in such a way that the rise or fall of the prices of the securities becomes artificial and the normal functioning of the markets is distorted.
- An offeror must announce an offer only after ensuring that he or she can pay in full any cash consideration, if such is offered, and after taking all reasonable measures to secure the implementation of any other type of consideration.
- An offeree must not be hindered in the conduct of its affairs for longer than is reasonable by any offer for its securities.
- A substantial acquisition of securities (whether such acquisition is to be effected by one transaction or a series of transactions) shall take place only at an acceptable speed and shall be subject to adequate and timely disclosure.
In addition to the operation of these rules, the Company may, from time to time, put in place appropriate retention arrangements to ensure that it retains its key employees during periods of corporate change.