Holding general meetings during the COVID-19 crisis
Corporate News - 02 April 2020
Many of our clients will need to hold general meetings in the coming weeks and months, be it AGMs to be held in the ordinary course or extraordinary general meetings to approve necessary capital raisings or other corporate actions which need to be taken.
Restrictions on public gatherings imposed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus will necessarily limit the ability of companies to hold general meetings in the customary format. ASIC has advised that it encourages all companies looking to hold shareholder meetings to provide mechanisms for shareholders to participate in the meeting without physically attending the meeting venue.
For companies with a 31 December financial year end who must hold an AGM on or before 31 May 2020, ASIC has confirmed that it:
will take no action if the AGMs are postponed for two months (ie, until the end of July 2020); and
supports the holding of AGMs using appropriate technology (either through the holding of a hybrid or virtual AGM).
This represents ASIC’s current guidance, but ASIC notes that the situation will remain under review. ASIC’s current position has been endorsed and supported by ASX.
Our clients and other interested people should contact us to discuss preparing notices of meeting and/or supplementary announcements and what steps can be taken to ensure that general meetings can be held and company business conducted in an orderly way during this crisis, in the current climate of social distancing and self-isolation.
Please contact us in our Perth office on +61 8 9321 4000 or our Melbourne office on +61 3 9111 9400 if you would like assistance.