Deutsche Beteiligungs (DBAG) will convert all of its bearer shares to registered shares from July 1 to enhance communications with shareholders and create greater transparency in the shareholder profile, according to a statement from the firm.
Bearer shares are securities held by whoever has physical possession of a stock certificate, ownership of which is not tracked by the issuing firm.
Registered shares require DBAG to keep a share register listing the shareholders and the number of shares they hold. Entry in the register provides proof of share ownership and entitles shareholders to attend DBAG’s annual meetings and exercise voting rights.
“Currently we don’t know who has invested in DBAG’s shares; from Monday onward we will know,” said Thomas Franke, head of public relations and investor relations at DBAG.
Tracking its shareholders may save DBAG some money. Currently the firm has to pay banks that manage its share account to identify shareholders. “Knowing the name and address of shareholders allows us to mail them an invitation for the annual meeting directly, meaning we no longer need banks to do that for us,” said Franke.
Bearer shares will be converted to registered shares at a 1:1 ratio, and the legal position of DBAG’s shareholders remains unchanged.
From July 1 the firm’s new shares will be ISIN DE000A1TNUT7 and WKN A1TNUT while the firm’s stock exchange symbol for registered shares will change from DBAG to DBAN.
DBAG’s shares are a component of the S-Dax, stock market index composed of 50 small and medium-sized companies in Germany. With nearly 70 percent of the shares in free float ownership, DBAG’s market capitalization is approximately €255 million.
The firm focuses on mid-sized enterprises in Germany and neighboring countries. It invests from its own balance sheet and co-investment funds with total assets of approximately €1.3 billion. DBAG’s most recent deal came in April when it bought a 10 percent stake in Inexio, a German telecom business.