Golden Share

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Golden Share

A share in a publicly-traded company that gives the shareholder power to veto changes to the charter. Golden shares were originated when the British government began privatizing previously nationalized companies in the 1980s and wished to retain a great deal of control over these companies. Other European countries later took similar measures, though many forms of golden share have since been ruled illegal in the European Union.
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There are no upper limits to the price LPC may pay to purchase common stock from Golden and the purchase price of the shares will be based on the prevailing market prices of Golden shares at the time of each sale to LPC.
He claimed it confirmed the golden shares were not with the club's trading arm Coventry City Football Club (Holdings) Ltd, as the club appears to claim.
The court upheld the European Commission's position: the holding of such golden shares gives the Portuguese state exceptional rights in GALP Energia's capital and is an infringement of the principle of free movement of capital.
He said that, given EADS' role in Europe's security, the use of golden shares would help the group - which apart from its range of Airbus airliners also makes military transport aircraft, defence electronics and telecommunications satellites - fend off a hostile takeover in the event of such a move.
The UK Government's policy to allow a free market is in sharp contrast to many European countries where a "golden share" can be used to block a takeover.
Meanwhile, in another German-led bid battle, Spain juggled national interest and support for open markets as its prime minister said the country would not use its "golden share" to block a move by E.ON - parent of Midlands-based Central Networks and Powergen - for Endesa.
''Under certain limited conditions, I believe firms issuing golden shares should be allowed to remain listed,'' Sugiyama said.
According to the August 2002 issue of The Dealer's Journal, the UK government held golden shares in 26 companies, including Eurotunnel, National Air Traffic Services and the National Grid.
News that the Government is to give up its golden shares in National Power helped the stock.
The golden shares' that enable the Italian state to lock up the capital of private companies in strategic sectors like telecommunications and energy are leading Rome straight to the EU Court of Justice.
The golden shares held by the Portuguese state in Energias de Portugal (EDP) are an infringement of the free movement of capital because they might discourage investments by operators from other member states, ruled the European Court of Justice on 11 November in case C-543/08 Commission v Portugal.
The European Union has taken a critical view of golden shares and took the Dutch to court over its special voting rights in TNT and Dutch telecoms firm KPN in 2003.