The Combined Shareholders’ Meeting, chaired by Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of the Company, in the presence of the members of the Board of Directors, was attended by 5,218 people, on Thursday, May 7, at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.
The shareholders, representing 49.3% of the voting rights, i.e. 147,439 shareholders present or represented, approved all the proposed resolutions.
The proposed dividend of €2.25 per share was approved and will be distributed on May 18. The level of dividend is unchanged from 2008, though the number of shares outstanding increased by 10%, following the bonus share issue in June 2008.
Shares held in registered form continually from December 31, 2006 to May 18, 2009, the payment date of the dividend, will be awarded a 10% bonus dividend of €0.22 per share.
The Combined Shareholders’ Meeting renewed the terms of office of Messrs. Thierry Desmarest, Alain Joly and Thierry Peugeot as directors for a period of four years. Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Vice-Chairman of Air Liquide’s Board of Directors, was heartily thanked for the valuable contribution he has made to the work of the Board and its committees, as well as for his outstanding fidelity to Air Liquide, over the course of the last 15 years. The Board of Directors currently comprises 11 members, of five different nationalities, eight of whom are independent.
At the Board of Directors’ meeting which was held following the Combined Shareholders’ Meeting, Mr Thierry Desmarest was appointed Chairman of the Appointments Committee and Mr Cornelis van Lede, Chairman of the Remuneration Committee, to replace Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones.
Commenting on this event, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, noted: “I am delighted that more than 147,000 present or represented shareholders participated at this key moment in the life of the Group. This is the highest participation since the 100 year celebration in 2002. Up by 16% compared to 2008, this exceptional shareholder participation is proof of their renewed interest and confidence in Air Liquide. It provides great encouragement to pursue the Group’s long-term growth model, developed with shareholders’ support since its origins, and which seeks to preserve the interest of the Company and its shareholders over the long term.”