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A long-term investment

A loyal and stable shareholder base

At Air Liquide, as our investment cycle is long, we believe in long term commitment. So, we encourage long term shareholders. Air Liquide believes in promoting and encouraging long term share ownership, through transparent investor relations, strong respect of all shareholders, regular dividend growth, thanks to regular growth in earnings and loyalty bonuses for long term shareholders.

A strong share ownership culture

A differentiating feature of Air Liquide is the high proportion of individual shareholders: together, 410,000 individual shareholders hold some 33% of the share capital at the end of 2016.

Their loyalty is attributable to a long history of steady earnings growth, resulting from the constant development of Air Liquide’s markets and the solidity of its economic model.

Air Liquide was created in 1902 thanks to individual shareholders. The company paid its first dividends in 1907 and never ceased since. Air Liquide was listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1913.

A steadily expanding portfolio

Portfolio value of a registered shareholder who reinvested his or her dividends each year in shares, earned the loyalty bonus and collected free shares.

A steadily expanding portfolio

Dividend policy

Air Liquide was created in 1902 thanks to individual shareholders. The company paid its first dividends in 1907 and never ceased since. Air Liquide was listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1913.

For more than 10 years, the pay-out ratio is stable, at around 50% of the Group net profit. Over the last 30 years, dividends kept increasing regularly or were at least maintained.

The Air Liquide dividend is paid in cash once a year after the General Shareholders’ Meeting which takes place in May. Air Liquide’s ex-date is around mid-May.

Free share attribution: scrip issues

Air Liquide regularly does a scrip issue, usually every other year. The last one was a 1 for 10 on June 2, 2014. These attributions are proposed by the Board of Directors and require the General shareholders meeting approval. Free shares receive the same voting rights, dividends and loyalty bonus as the shares held to receive them.

28 scrip issues over the last 60 years

Some 28 scrip issues have been done over the last 60 years. So it has become a tradition, much appreciated by individual shareholders. The share capital increases are through the capitalization of retained earnings. This is not a dividend. The number of shares increases whereas the share price immediately decreases in the same order of magnitude. The characteristic of these free share offers is that they do not modify the value of the portfolio of an Air Liquide shareholder. They just make it more liquid by maintaining a lower share price.

The positive impacts of the scrip issues are:

  • By reducing the share price, they help to maintain the shares at a “reasonable / affordable” level, which is an important element for individual shareholders;
  • They contribute to improving share liquidity;
  • The following year, a facially flat dividend per share would represent an increase in the dividend paid for all shareholders due to the higher number of shares.

Fractional rights are paid in cash. Long term registered shareholders, individual or institutional having held their shares for more than 2 calendar years, receive 10% more free shares.

Note: All the historical published per share data (stock market prices, earnings and dividends) must be adjusted to take into account this increase in the number of shares. Do not hesitate to contact the IR team to adjust by the correct rate.

For more information on Share capital, please see the 2015 reference document.

Loyalty bonus

Principle

  • +10% dividend
  • +10% free shares (in case of a free share attribution)

All shareholders, individual and institutional, who have held registered shares (either direct or intermediary) for more than two full calendar years, can benefit from the loyalty bonus, which results in a 10% dividend increase and 10% more free shares. Shares must be held until dividend payment and free share attribution dates (generally in May-June).

The “Intermediary registered” form

For institutional investors, intermediary registered shares are a good compromise. You can enjoy the advantages of registered shares and the convenience of maintaining the shares in your normal portfolio. You receive all the documentation directly, in particular the documents relative to the General Shareholders meeting (Notice of meeting, voting form…) and are entitled to the loyalty bonus if you hold your shares for more two full calendar.

Note: According to French Law, the number of shares entitled to the loyalty bonus is limited, for anyone shareholder, to 0.5% of the Company’s capital.

Air Liquide shares can be allocated four ISIN “value codes”, to distinguish the status of registered shares, depending on the year in which they will have the loyalty bonus entitlement.

Permanent value codes Intermediate value codes
FR0000120073
All bearer or registered shares that have not been held in registered form for more than 1 year are listed under this value code.
Loyalty bonus in 2019
FR0012187102
Shares registered in 2014.
Loyalty bonus in 2017
FR0000053951
Registered shares that already qualify for the loyalty bonus.
FR0013018769
Shares recorded in registered form in 2015 that will qualify for the loyalty bonus in 2018.
Loyalty bonus in 2018

 

How to register

  1. Send your financial intermediary a request to convert your shares into intermediary registered shares. You can find a standard request form here
  2. Your intermediary will send your registration to Air Liquide while continuing to manage your account

Notes: Conversion fees and processing times vary according to financial institutions. Contact your financial advisor for more information.
You can contact the IR team should you need more information about registered form.

Protect your bonus

During buy-sell operations, registered shares are automatically converted into bearer shares and therefore lose their loyalty bonus. So be careful to sell in priority your recently bought shares rather than those held for the long term and which might already be eligible for the loyalty bonus.

The loyalty bonus is lost in the case of change or transfer of ownership. Please note however that a merger or split of fund, with no trade in shares, will not lead to a loss of rights. Individual shareholders should visit the Shareholders section.

TSR: Total Shareholder Return

Total Shareholder Return (TSR) is an annualized rate of return for a shareholder who buys a share at the beginning of a period and sells it at the end of the period. This calculation takes into account the change in the share price, dividends paid, including loyalty bonuses, considering that they are also reinvested in shares, as well as free share attributions.

As an example, during the last 10 years, the TSR for an Air Liquide registered shareholder has been on average 10.4% per year, whereas it was 9.9% for a bearer shareholder.

Average annual growth of the portfolio as of December 31, 2015:

For capital invested Air Liquide –
Registered shares(a)
Air Liquide –
Bearer shares(a)
CAC 40 index –
reinvested(b)
over 5 years
(December 31, 2010)
+8.7% +8.4% +7.9%
over 10 years
(December 31, 2005)
+10.4% +9.9% +3.5%
over 20 years
(December 31, 1995)
+11.2% +10.5% +7.8%

(a) The TSR on registered shares is higher than the TSR on bearer shares because the registered shareholder benefits from loyalty bonuses.

(b) CAC 40 index with gross dividends reinvested.