BRITISH shareholders for Ryanair and Wizz Air are set to be stripped of their voting rights after the end of the Brexit transition period, as the two London-listed airlines moved to protect their European licences.
In an announcement made by Ryanair on Tuesday, December 29, that will affect British citizens, the company has stated that it would move ahead with plans to treat so-called ordinary or depositary shares as restricted shares if they are owned by non-EU nationals.
Brits will be banned from showing up to, speaking at or voting at shareholder meetings, although they will not be required to sell their shares, Ryanair said, which follows London listed Hungarian airline Wizz Air who made a similar move recently after stating “that if it did not take action, around 80% of its shares would be held by non-EU citizens as the UK leaves the EU.”
A Ryanair statement made to the stock exchange on Tuesday said: “These resolutions will remain in place until the board of the company determines that the ownership and control of the company is no longer such that there is any risk to the airline licences.”
The move from the two airlines means that they will be operating within European ownership regulations, which state: “To fly between two EU countries, airlines must be directly or indirectly majority-owned and effectively controlled by EU citizens or those of some other EU-affiliated countries, such as Norway and Switzerland.”
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