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CMS Guide to Shareholder Litigation in the Netherlands

Editors: Bart Bendel
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Introduction
WHAT THE GUIDE IS
The CMS Guide to Shareholder Litigation (CMS Guide) aims to give an overview of the most important civil actions that shareholders can use to exercise their shareholder rights in The Netherlands. The civil actions in this CMS Guide only pertain to those actions for which the shareholder-ship is required to be admissible in court and all actions for which the shareholder by law or case law is considered an interested party.
WHAT THE GUIDE IS NOT
This CMS Guide does not include all types of action that can be used by shareholders to ascertain the liability of any persons or bodies for economic damage to the shares as a result of - for example - any unlawful acts. Therefore, possible actions against executive and supervisory directors, trustees, creditors, debtors of the company, etc. are not described. The CMS Guide makes no claims to completeness and does not constitute legal advice. The information it contains is no substitute for specific legal advice. If you have any queries regarding the issues raised about other legal topics, please get in touch with the author of this publication.
WHY USE THE GUIDE?
The user of this CMS Guide is offered a comprehensive insight into various types of actions to determine easily what civil action may be suited to address the problems with which a shareholder may be confronted.
CONTENT OF THE GUIDE
The user will find a description of the objective of the civil action, the grounds to allow the legal claim, the requirements for admissibility, the legal basis, the competent court, the possibilities of appeal and - if any - the important specifics of the action.
HOW TO USE THE GUIDE
Please use the CMS Shareholder Actions List below to find the information you are looking for by clicking. Please add a comment on pages or email to work space (see button on the right).
Bart Bendel
T: +31 30 2121 530
F: +31 30 2121 344
E: bart.bendel@cms-dsb.com
I. General actions for shareholders in public companies („naamloze vennootschappen“) and private limited companies („besloten vennootschappen met beperkte aansprakelijkheid“)
1. Annulment of corporate decisions
Material groundsIn case it is contrary to (i) statutory provisions or provisions in the articles of association regulating the passing of resolutions, (ii) the principles of reasonableness and fairness required under article 2:8 DCC or (iii) any bylaws.Admissibility requirementsReasonable interest. The right to demand annulment of the resolution shall lapse one year from the end of the day on which sufficient publicity of the resolution was given or on which the interested party became aware of the resolution or was notified thereof.Legal basisArt 2:15 subsection 3 DCC.Competent courtDistrict court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsA resolution which may be the subject of a claim for annulment under (i) as mentioned under material grounds may be ratified by a resolution to that effect; for such a resolution the same conditions shall apply as those applicable to the resolution to be ratified. The ratification shall not take effect as long as proceedings instituted for the annulment are pending. If the claim is allowed, the avoided resolution shall be deemed to have been passed anew as a result of a later resolution, unless this is contrary to the necessary implication of the resolution. <b>Key case law</b> <i>Supreme Court, 31 May 1996, NJ 1996/694 (Videoworks)</i> The supreme court considered that a shareholder does not always have reasonable interest. The shareholder must demonstrate that the resolution harms his own interests.
Material grounds
In case it is contrary to (i) statutory provisions or provisions in the articles of association regulating the passing of resolutions, (ii) the principles of reasonableness and fairness required under article 2:8 DCC or (iii) any bylaws.
Admissibility requirements
Reasonable interest.
The right to demand annulment of the resolution shall lapse one year from the end of the day on which sufficient publicity of the resolution was given or on which the interested party became aware of the resolution or was notified thereof.
Legal basis
Art 2:15 subsection 3 DCC.
Competent court
District court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
A resolution which may be the subject of a claim for annulment under (i) as mentioned under material grounds may be ratified by a resolution to that effect; for such a resolution the same conditions shall apply as those applicable to the resolution to be ratified. The ratification shall not take effect as long as proceedings instituted for the annulment are pending. If the claim is allowed, the avoided resolution shall be deemed to have been passed anew as a result of a later resolution, unless this is contrary to the necessary implication of the resolution.

Key case law
Supreme Court, 31 May 1996, NJ 1996/694 (Videoworks)
The supreme court considered that a shareholder does not always have reasonable interest. The shareholder must demonstrate that the resolution harms his own interests.
2. Winding up and asset distribution
2.1 Winding up of company pursuant to articles of association
Material grounds On the occurrence of an event which, pursuant to its articles of association, results in its winding up and which does not constitute a resolution or an act, the object of which is the winding up.Admissibility requirementsInterested party.Legal basisArt 2:19 subsection 2 DCC.Competent courtDistrict court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsThe court shall declare whether the company has been wound up and the effective date of the winding up. The order shall be universally binding. A legal person shall continue to exist after its winding up to the extent required for the purpose of the liquidation of its property, rights and interests. In documents and announcements issued by it, the words <i>in liquidatie</i> shall be added to its name.
Material grounds

On the occurrence of an event which, pursuant to its articles of association, results in its winding up and which does not constitute a resolution or an act, the object of which is the winding up.
Admissibility requirements
Interested party.
Legal basis
Art 2:19 subsection 2 DCC.
Competent court
District court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
The court shall declare whether the company has been wound up and the effective date of the winding up. The order shall be universally binding. A legal person shall continue to exist after its winding up to the extent required for the purpose of the liquidation of its property, rights and interests. In documents and announcements issued by it, the words in liquidatie shall be added to its name.
2.2 Winding up of company due to defects
Material groundsIf (i) there are defects in its formation, (ii) its articles of association do not comply with the statutory requirements or (iii) it does not fall within the statutory description of its legal type.Admissibility requirementsInterested party.Legal basisArt 2:21 subsection 4 DCC.Competent courtDistrict court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsThe court shall not order the winding up of the company, if it has allowed it a given period of time upon expiration of which the company which complies with the statutory requirements. It is likely that a court will set as requirement that the interested party must have a reasonable interest in the winding up of the company.
Material grounds
If (i) there are defects in its formation, (ii) its articles of association do not comply with the statutory requirements or (iii) it does not fall within the statutory description of its legal type.
Admissibility requirements
Interested party.
Legal basis
Art 2:21 subsection 4 DCC.
Competent court
District court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
The court shall not order the winding up of the company, if it has allowed it a given period of time upon expiration of which the company which complies with the statutory requirements.
It is likely that a court will set as requirement that the interested party must have a reasonable interest in the winding up of the company.
2.3 Oppose distribution scheme of winding-up balance
Material groundsIf the court judges if the accounts rendered and/or the plan of distribution is incorrect.Admissibility requirementsCreditor or entitled party. The action to oppose the plan of distribution pertaining to the liquidation residue in case of a winding up has to be initiated within two months after lodging of the accounts rendered and the plan of distribution and after such lodging has been published and announced in accordance with art 2:23b subsection 4 DCC.Legal basisArt 2:23b subsection 5 DCC.Competent courtDistrict court -> in which the company subject to the liquidation resided.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsArt 2:23b subsection 4 DCC stipulates that the liquidator must lodge the accounts rendered and the plan of distribution for entry at the registries where the legal person is registered and, in any event, at the office of the company, if there is one, or at any other place in the district where the legal person has its residence. The documents shall be available for public inspection for two months. The liquidator shall publish a notice in a newspaper stating where and until which date the same shall be available for inspection. The court can order publication in the <i>Nederlandse Staatscourant</i> (Netherlands Government Gazette).
Material grounds
If the court judges if the accounts rendered and/or the plan of distribution is incorrect.
Admissibility requirements
Creditor or entitled party.
The action to oppose the plan of distribution pertaining to the liquidation residue in case of a winding up has to be initiated within two months after lodging of the accounts rendered and the plan of distribution and after such lodging has been published and announced in accordance with art 2:23b subsection 4 DCC.
Legal basis
Art 2:23b subsection 5 DCC.
Competent court
District court -> in which the company subject to the liquidation resided.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
Art 2:23b subsection 4 DCC stipulates that the liquidator must lodge the accounts rendered and the plan of distribution for entry at the registries where the legal person is registered and, in any event, at the office of the company, if there is one, or at any other place in the district where the legal person has its residence. The documents shall be available for public inspection for two months. The liquidator shall publish a notice in a newspaper stating where and until which date the same shall be available for inspection. The court can order publication in the Nederlandse Staatscourant (Netherlands Government Gazette).
2.4 Reopening liquidation proceedings
Material groundsIf, after the company has ceased to exist, a creditor or party entitled to the surplus comes forward or the existence of an asset is ascertained.Admissibility requirementsCreditor or entitled party.Legal basisArt 2:23c subsection 1 DCC.Competent courtDistrict court -> in which the company subject to the liquidation resided.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsIn case the court reopens the liquidation, it can appoint a liquidator. The company revives but exclusively for the purpose of the settlement of the reopened liquidation. During the period in which the company ceased to exist, there are grounds for extension as referred to in 3:320 DCC with regard to the prescription period for rights of action by or against the company.Key case law<i>Supreme Court, 2 October 1998, NJ 1999/194 (FNV/Ventaz)</i> In order to grant the request for reopening, the applicant must demonstrate the claim and/or the existence of an asset sufficiently. The judge must verify with restraint whether or not this requirement has been fulfilled.
Material grounds
If, after the company has ceased to exist, a creditor or party entitled to the surplus comes forward or the existence of an asset is ascertained.
Admissibility requirements
Creditor or entitled party.
Legal basis
Art 2:23c subsection 1 DCC.
Competent court
District court -> in which the company subject to the liquidation resided.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
In case the court reopens the liquidation, it can appoint a liquidator. The company revives but exclusively for the purpose of the settlement of the reopened liquidation. During the period in which the company ceased to exist, there are grounds for extension as referred to in 3:320 DCC with regard to the prescription period for rights of action by or against the company.
Key case law
Supreme Court, 2 October 1998, NJ 1999/194 (FNV/Ventaz)
In order to grant the request for reopening, the applicant must demonstrate the claim and/or the existence of an asset sufficiently. The judge must verify with restraint whether or not this requirement has been fulfilled.
2.5 Request for depositary of company records
Material groundsIf there is no depository and the last liquidator is not prepared to become depository.Admissibility requirementsInterested party.Legal basisArt 2:24 subsection 2 DCC.Competent courtThe subdistrict court -> in which the company resided before the winding up.AppealNo appeal.Other specificsThe books, records and other data carriers of the company which has been wound up shall be retained for seven years after it has ceased to exist. If there is no depositary and if the liquidator is not prepared to keep the same, a depositary, if possible from amongst the persons who were involved with the company, shall be appointed upon the application of any interested party. Within eight days after the custody obligation takes effect, the depositary must notify the registries of the company of his name and address.
Material grounds
If there is no depository and the last liquidator is not prepared to become depository.
Admissibility requirements
Interested party.
Legal basis
Art 2:24 subsection 2 DCC.
Competent court
The subdistrict court -> in which the company resided before the winding up.
Appeal
No appeal.
Other specifics
The books, records and other data carriers of the company which has been wound up shall be retained for seven years after it has ceased to exist. If there is no depositary and if the liquidator is not prepared to keep the same, a depositary, if possible from amongst the persons who were involved with the company, shall be appointed upon the application of any interested party. Within eight days after the custody obligation takes effect, the depositary must notify the registries of the company of his name and address.
2.6 Request to access company records
Material groundsIf the (former) shareholder demonstrates a reasonable interest in such inspection.Admissibility requirementsInterested party.Legal basisArt 2:24 subsection 4 DCC.Competent courtThe subdistrict court -> in which the company resided before the winding up.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsThe subdistrict court may, upon application, give authorization for inspection of the books, records and other data carriers to any interested party.
Material grounds
If the (former) shareholder demonstrates a reasonable interest in such inspection.
Admissibility requirements
Interested party.
Legal basis
Art 2:24 subsection 4 DCC.
Competent court
The subdistrict court -> in which the company resided before the winding up.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
The subdistrict court may, upon application, give authorization for inspection of the books, records and other data carriers to any interested party.
II. Specific actions for shareholders in public companies („naamloze vennootschappen“)
3. Loss of shares
3.1 Compensation loss of shares in case of conversion company
Material groundsIn case the public company is converted into an association (<i>“vereniging”</i>), a cooperative society (<i>“coöperatie”</i>) or a mutual insurance company (<i>“onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij”</i>) and no agreement regarding the compensation of the shareholder(s) exists.Legal basisArt 2:71 subsection 3 DCC.Admissibility requirementsShareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion and therefore will lose shares and will not become a member of the association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society.Competent courtThe district court -> in the case of authorization for conversion or by the interim provisions judge of the court of first instance in which the company resides.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsOn the conversion of the company into an association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society, each shareholder shall become a member unless the shareholder requested indemnification. The shareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion may request the company for indemnification against the loss of shares. The request for indemnification must be made in writing to the company within one month after the company informed the shareholder of his right on indemnification. In the absence of agreement, the shareholder can file an application in court in order to have one or more experts appointed to determine the indemnification.
Material grounds
In case the public company is converted into an association (“vereniging”), a cooperative society (“coöperatie”) or a mutual insurance company (“onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij”) and no agreement regarding the compensation of the shareholder(s) exists.
Legal basis
Art 2:71 subsection 3 DCC.
Admissibility requirements
Shareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion and therefore will lose shares and will not become a member of the association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society.
Competent court
The district court -> in the case of authorization for conversion or by the interim provisions judge of the court of first instance in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
On the conversion of the company into an association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society, each shareholder shall become a member unless the shareholder requested indemnification. The shareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion may request the company for indemnification against the loss of shares. The request for indemnification must be made in writing to the company within one month after the company informed the shareholder of his right on indemnification. In the absence of agreement, the shareholder can file an application in court in order to have one or more experts appointed to determine the indemnification.
3.2 Oppose provision of duplicate of lost shares
Material groundsIf the interested party proves that it possesses the lost share or a part of it.Admissibility requirementsInterested party has to oppose the request for a duplicate of shares within six weeks after such request was announced by the company in a national newspaper.Legal basisArt 2:86d subsection 4 DCC.Competent courtDistrict court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsThe holder of a bearer share certificate may request the company to provide a duplicate of a lost share certificate. The holder must show prima facie that the share certificate was lost and give details, identifying the relevant share certificate. Any interested party may, within six weeks of the date of notification of the application, oppose to the provision of a duplicate by an application to the district court. The provisions in article 2:86d DCC do not apply insofar the articles of association of the company regulate the substitution of lost share certificates.<b></b> Key case law<i>Court of first instance of Amsterdam, 6 October 2009, JOR 2010/88 and Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, 18 January 2011, JOR 2011/139 (Bronwaterleiding Doorn/Engel)</i> In order to grant a request for duplicates of lost share certificates, it is insufficient if the share ownership is based upon the possession of talons including dividend coupons, because those are independently marketable. It is also not enough that no third party claims to be entitled to the shares. All circumstances are relevant. Irrefutable evidence of share ownership is not required.
Material grounds
If the interested party proves that it possesses the lost share or a part of it.
Admissibility requirements
Interested party has to oppose the request for a duplicate of shares within six weeks after such request was announced by the company in a national newspaper.
Legal basis
Art 2:86d subsection 4 DCC.
Competent court
District court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
The holder of a bearer share certificate may request the company to provide a duplicate of a lost share certificate. The holder must show prima facie that the share certificate was lost and give details, identifying the relevant share certificate. Any interested party may, within six weeks of the date of notification of the application, oppose to the provision of a duplicate by an application to the district court. The provisions in article 2:86d DCC do not apply insofar the articles of association of the company regulate the substitution of lost share certificates.

Key case law
Court of first instance of Amsterdam, 6 October 2009, JOR 2010/88 and Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, 18 January 2011, JOR 2011/139 (Bronwaterleiding Doorn/Engel)
In order to grant a request for duplicates of lost share certificates, it is insufficient if the share ownership is based upon the possession of talons including dividend coupons, because those are independently marketable. It is also not enough that no third party claims to be entitled to the shares. All circumstances are relevant. Irrefutable evidence of share ownership is not required.
3.3 Squeeze out minority shareholders
Material groundsThe claimant or claimants are (jointly) entitled to at least 95 % of the shares in the company.Admissibility requirements(i) 95% of the issued capital of the company and (ii) the action must be initiated against all other shareholders.Legal basisArt 2:92a DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, exclusively by way of cassation.Other specificsThe claimant(s) holds 95% of the shares for himself. Depositary offices or other persons or entities with non-economic rights towards shares are not entitled to initiate this action. From the admissibility requirements it follows that the writ of summons will have to include (i) an original excerpt of the Netherlands Trade Register, (ii) a copy of the articles of association of the company, (iii) the last three annual accounts of the company, (iv) a signed copy of the shareholders register, (v) a statement of an accountant or notary regarding the 95% requirement, and (vi) (if applicable and available) a copy of the (formal) offer document and any other such documents useful to determine the value of the shares. If the court allows the claim, it may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred. The court shall determine the prices of the shares to be transferred as of a date to be set by it. The court shall disallow the proceedings against all defendants if, notwithstanding compensation, a defendant would suffer serious tangible loss by such transfer, if a defendant is the holder of a share in which, under the articles, a special right of control of the company is vested or if a claimant has, as against a defendant, renounced his/her power to institute such proceedings. Unknown minority shareholders can be included in the proceedings by means of a public writ of summons.Key case law<i>Supreme Court, 16 January 2004, JOR 2004/35 (Goglio/Goglio)</i> The statutory grounds for rejection are to be applied strictly and do not give any space for weighing interests by the judge. Only priority shares are shares to which a specific right of control (“bijzonder zeggenschapsrecht”) is attached as meant in art. 2:92a subsection 4 DCC. <i>Supreme Court, 14 September 2007, JOR 2007/237 (Centaurus/Versatel)</i> The legal merger as an alternative for the squeeze out of minority shareholders under art. 2:92a DCC does not under all circumstances collide with the principle of fairness and reasonableness of art. 2:8 DCC. <i>Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 29 june 2000, JOR 2000/170 (Pirelli) </i> The value of the shares is generally determined at a date as close by the date of transfer of the shares as possible taking into account all relevant circumstances per that date.
Material grounds
The claimant or claimants are (jointly) entitled to at least 95 % of the shares in the company.
Admissibility requirements
(i) 95% of the issued capital of the company and (ii) the action must be initiated against all other shareholders.
Legal basis
Art 2:92a DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, exclusively by way of cassation.
Other specifics
The claimant(s) holds 95% of the shares for himself. Depositary offices or other persons or entities with non-economic rights towards shares are not entitled to initiate this action.

From the admissibility requirements it follows that the writ of summons will have to include (i) an original excerpt of the Netherlands Trade Register, (ii) a copy of the articles of association of the company, (iii) the last three annual accounts of the company, (iv) a signed copy of the shareholders register, (v) a statement of an accountant or notary regarding the 95% requirement, and (vi) (if applicable and available) a copy of the (formal) offer document and any other such documents useful to determine the value of the shares.

If the court allows the claim, it may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred. The court shall determine the prices of the shares to be transferred as of a date to be set by it.

The court shall disallow the proceedings against all defendants if, notwithstanding compensation, a defendant would suffer serious tangible loss by such transfer, if a defendant is the holder of a share in which, under the articles, a special right of control of the company is vested or if a claimant has, as against a defendant, renounced his/her power to institute such proceedings.

Unknown minority shareholders can be included in the proceedings by means of a public writ of summons.
Key case law
Supreme Court, 16 January 2004, JOR 2004/35 (Goglio/Goglio)
The statutory grounds for rejection are to be applied strictly and do not give any space for weighing interests by the judge. Only priority shares are shares to which a specific right of control (“bijzonder zeggenschapsrecht”) is attached as meant in art. 2:92a subsection 4 DCC.

Supreme Court, 14 September 2007, JOR 2007/237 (Centaurus/Versatel)
The legal merger as an alternative for the squeeze out of minority shareholders under art. 2:92a DCC does not under all circumstances collide with the principle of fairness and reasonableness of art. 2:8 DCC.

Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 29 june 2000, JOR 2000/170 (Pirelli)
The value of the shares is generally determined at a date as close by the date of transfer of the shares as possible taking into account all relevant circumstances per that date.
4. Convening a general meeting
4.1 Convening a general meeting of shareholders
Material groundsA request of shareholders to convene a general meeting of shareholders is denied and the shareholders have a reasonable interest in holding the meeting.Admissibility requirementsOne or more shareholders who jointly represent at least 10% of the issued capital or such lesser amount as is provided by the articles of association.Legal basisArt 2:110/111 DCC.Competent courtThe interim provisions judge in which the company resides.AppealNo appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.Other specificsDenial of the application: if it does not appear to the judge that the applicants have previously requested the management or the supervisory board in writing, stating the exact matters to be considered, to convene a general meeting and neither the management nor the supervisory board, which in this case have equal powers, has taken the necessary steps so that the general meeting could be held within six weeks after the request. The judge will look at all circumstances to determine if in view of all interests involved a reasonable interest exists to convene the meeting. For the purpose of this article, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights a shareholders.
Material grounds
A request of shareholders to convene a general meeting of shareholders is denied and the shareholders have a reasonable interest in holding the meeting.
Admissibility requirements
One or more shareholders who jointly represent at least 10% of the issued capital or such lesser amount as is provided by the articles of association.
Legal basis
Art 2:110/111 DCC.
Competent court
The interim provisions judge in which the company resides.
Appeal
No appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.
Other specifics
Denial of the application: if it does not appear to the judge that the applicants have previously requested the management or the supervisory board in writing, stating the exact matters to be considered, to convene a general meeting and neither the management nor the supervisory board, which in this case have equal powers, has taken the necessary steps so that the general meeting could be held within six weeks after the request.

The judge will look at all circumstances to determine if in view of all interests involved a reasonable interest exists to convene the meeting.

For the purpose of this article, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights a shareholders.
4.2 Permission to convene general meeting if authorized persons fail to do so
Material groundsThe body entitled to convene the meeting of shareholders fails to convene the annual general meeting of shareholders pursuant to art. 2:108 DCC or the general meeting of shareholders pursuant to art. 2:108a DCC (financial distress).Admissibility requirementsAny shareholder.Legal basisArt 2:112 DCC.Competent courtThe interim provisions judge in which the company resides.AppealNo appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.Other specificsPursuant to art 2:108a DCC the general meeting shall be held within three months after the management has considered it is plausible that the shareholders’ equity of the company has decreased to an amount equal to or less than one half of the paid and called up part of the capital, in order to discuss the measure to be taken. For the purpose of this art 2:112 DCC, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights as shareholders.
Material grounds
The body entitled to convene the meeting of shareholders fails to convene the annual general meeting of shareholders pursuant to art. 2:108 DCC or the general meeting of shareholders pursuant to art. 2:108a DCC (financial distress).
Admissibility requirements
Any shareholder.
Legal basis
Art 2:112 DCC.
Competent court
The interim provisions judge in which the company resides.
Appeal
No appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.
Other specifics
Pursuant to art 2:108a DCC the general meeting shall be held within three months after the management has considered it is plausible that the shareholders’ equity of the company has decreased to an amount equal to or less than one half of the paid and called up part of the capital, in order to discuss the measure to be taken.

For the purpose of this art 2:112 DCC, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights as shareholders.
III. Specific actions for shareholders in large public companies („grote naamloze vennootschappen“)
5. Articles of association adopted by the court
Material grounds(i) The company meets the requirements of art. 2:153 subsection 3, art. 2:154 subsection 2, 2:155 or 2:155a DCC under the dual-board regime and the full dual-board regime no longer applies to the company and (ii) the general meeting of shareholders fails to amend the articles of association.Admissibility requirementsAny shareholder entitled to place matters on the agenda of the general meeting of shareholders pursuant to article 2:114a DCC.Legal basisArt 2:154 subsections 5 and 6 DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal of Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
Material grounds
(i) The company meets the requirements of art. 2:153 subsection 3, art. 2:154 subsection 2, 2:155 or 2:155a DCC under the dual-board regime and the full dual-board regime no longer applies to the company and (ii) the general meeting of shareholders fails to amend the articles of association.
Admissibility requirements
Any shareholder entitled to place matters on the agenda of the general meeting of shareholders pursuant to article 2:114a DCC.
Legal basis
Art 2:154 subsections 5 and 6 DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal of Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
IV. Specific actions for shareholders in private limited companies („besloten vennootschappen met beperkte aansprakelijkheid“)
6. Loss of shares
6.1 Compensation loss of shares in case of conversion company
Material groundsIn case the private limited company is converted into an association (“vereniging”), a cooperative society (“coöperatie”) or a mutual insurance company (“onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij”) and no agreement regarding the compensation of the shareholder(s) exists.Admissibility requirementsShareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion and therefore will lose shares and will not become a member of the association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society.Legal basisArt 2:181 subsection 3 DCC.Competent courtThe district court -> in the case of authorization for conversion or by the interim provisions judge of the court of first instance in which the company resides.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsOn the conversion of the company into an association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society, each shareholder shall become a member unless the shareholder requested indemnification. The shareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion may request the company for indemnification against the loss of shares. The request for indemnification must be made in writing to the company within one month after the company informed the shareholder of his right on indemnification. In the absence of agreement, the shareholder can file an application in court in order to have one or more experts appointed to determine the indemnification.
Material grounds
In case the private limited company is converted into an association (“vereniging”), a cooperative society (“coöperatie”) or a mutual insurance company (“onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij”) and no agreement regarding the compensation of the shareholder(s) exists.
Admissibility requirements
Shareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion and therefore will lose shares and will not become a member of the association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society.
Legal basis
Art 2:181 subsection 3 DCC.
Competent court
The district court -> in the case of authorization for conversion or by the interim provisions judge of the court of first instance in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
On the conversion of the company into an association, cooperative society or mutual insurance society, each shareholder shall become a member unless the shareholder requested indemnification. The shareholder who has not consented to the resolution for conversion may request the company for indemnification against the loss of shares. The request for indemnification must be made in writing to the company within one month after the company informed the shareholder of his right on indemnification. In the absence of agreement, the shareholder can file an application in court in order to have one or more experts appointed to determine the indemnification.
6.2 Squeeze out minority shareholders
Material groundsThe claimant or claimants are (jointly) entitled to at least 95 % of the shares in the company.Admissibility requirements(i) 95% of the issued capital of the company and (ii) the action must be initiated against all other shareholders.Legal basisArt 2:201a DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, appeal shall be exclusively by way of cassation.Other specificsThe claimant(s) holds 95 % of the shares for himself. Depositary offices or other persons or entities with non-economic rights towards shares are not entitled to initiate this action. From the admissibility requirements it follows that the writ of summons will have to include (i) an original excerpt of the Netherlands Trade Register, (ii) a copy of the articles of association of the company, (iii) the last three annual accounts of the company, (iv) a signed copy of the shareholders register, (v) a statement of an accountant or notary regarding the 95 % requirement, and (vi) (if applicable and available) any other such documents useful to determine the value of the shares. If the court allows the claim, it may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred. The court shall determine the prices of the shares to be transferred as of a date to be set by it. The court shall disallow the proceedings against all defendants if, notwithstanding compensation, a defendant would suffer serious tangible loss by such transfer, if a defendant is the holder of a share in which, under the articles, a special right of control of the company is vested or if a claimant has, as against a defendant, renounced his/her power to institute such proceedings. Unknown minority shareholders can be included in the proceedings by means of a public writ of summons. Key case law<i>Supreme Court, 16 January 2004, JOR 2004/35 (Goglio/Goglio)</i> The statutory grounds for rejection are to be applied strictly and do not give any space for weighing interests by the judge. Only priority shares are shares to which a specific right of control (<i>“bijzonder zeggenschapsrecht”</i>) is attached as meant in art. 2:92a subsection 4 DCC. <i>Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 29 june 2000, JOR 2000/170 (Pirelli)</i> The value of the shares is generally determined at a date as close by the date of transfer of the shares as possible taking into account all relevant circumstances per that date.
Material grounds
The claimant or claimants are (jointly) entitled to at least 95 % of the shares in the company.
Admissibility requirements
(i) 95% of the issued capital of the company and (ii) the action must be initiated against all other shareholders.
Legal basis
Art 2:201a DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, appeal shall be exclusively by way of cassation.
Other specifics
The claimant(s) holds 95 % of the shares for himself. Depositary offices or other persons or entities with non-economic rights towards shares are not entitled to initiate this action.

From the admissibility requirements it follows that the writ of summons will have to include (i) an original excerpt of the Netherlands Trade Register, (ii) a copy of the articles of association of the company, (iii) the last three annual accounts of the company, (iv) a signed copy of the shareholders register, (v) a statement of an accountant or notary regarding the 95 % requirement, and (vi) (if applicable and available) any other such documents useful to determine the value of the shares.

If the court allows the claim, it may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred. The court shall determine the prices of the shares to be transferred as of a date to be set by it.

The court shall disallow the proceedings against all defendants if, notwithstanding compensation, a defendant would suffer serious tangible loss by such transfer, if a defendant is the holder of a share in which, under the articles, a special right of control of the company is vested or if a claimant has, as against a defendant, renounced his/her power to institute such proceedings.

Unknown minority shareholders can be included in the proceedings by means of a public writ of summons.
Key case law
Supreme Court, 16 January 2004, JOR 2004/35 (Goglio/Goglio)
The statutory grounds for rejection are to be applied strictly and do not give any space for weighing interests by the judge. Only priority shares are shares to which a specific right of control (“bijzonder zeggenschapsrecht”) is attached as meant in art. 2:92a subsection 4 DCC.

Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 29 june 2000, JOR 2000/170 (Pirelli)
The value of the shares is generally determined at a date as close by the date of transfer of the shares as possible taking into account all relevant circumstances per that date.
7. Convening general meeting
7.1 Convening a general meeting of shareholders
Material groundsA request of shareholders to convene a general meeting of shareholders is denied and the shareholders have a reasonable interest in holding the meeting.Admissibility requirementsOne or more shareholders who jointly represent at least 10% of the issued capital or such lesser amount as is provided by the articles of association.Legal basisArt 2:220/221 DCC.Competent courtThe interim provisions judge in which the company resides.AppealNo appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.Other specificsDenial of the application: if it does not appear to the judge that the applicants have previously requested the management or the supervisory board in writing, stating the exact matters to be considered, to convene a general meeting and neither the management nor the supervisory board, which in this case have equal powers, have taken the necessary steps so that the general meeting could be held within six weeks after the request. For the purpose of this article, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights as shareholders.
Material grounds
A request of shareholders to convene a general meeting of shareholders is denied and the shareholders have a reasonable interest in holding the meeting.
Admissibility requirements
One or more shareholders who jointly represent at least 10% of the issued capital or such lesser amount as is provided by the articles of association.
Legal basis
Art 2:220/221 DCC.
Competent court
The interim provisions judge in which the company resides.
Appeal
No appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.
Other specifics
Denial of the application: if it does not appear to the judge that the applicants have previously requested the management or the supervisory board in writing, stating the exact matters to be considered, to convene a general meeting and neither the management nor the supervisory board, which in this case have equal powers, have taken the necessary steps so that the general meeting could be held within six weeks after the request.

For the purpose of this article, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights as shareholders.
7.2 Permission to convene general meeting if authorized persons fail to do so
Material groundsThe body entitled to convene the meeting of shareholders fails to convene the annual general meeting of shareholders pursuant to art. 2:218 DCC or the general meeting of shareholders prescribed by the articles of association of the company.Admissibility requirementsAny shareholder.Legal basisArt 2:222 DCC.Competent courtThe interim provisions judge in which the company resides.AppealNo appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.Other specificsFor the purpose of this art 2:222 DCC, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights as shareholders.
Material grounds
The body entitled to convene the meeting of shareholders fails to convene the annual general meeting of shareholders pursuant to art. 2:218 DCC or the general meeting of shareholders prescribed by the articles of association of the company.
Admissibility requirements
Any shareholder.
Legal basis
Art 2:222 DCC.
Competent court
The interim provisions judge in which the company resides.
Appeal
No appeal, except for cassation in the interest of the law.
Other specifics
For the purpose of this art 2:222 DCC, the holders of depositary receipts issued for shares with the cooperation of the company have the same rights as shareholders.
V. Specific actions for shareholders in large private limited companies („grote besloten vennootschappen met beperkte aansprakelijkheid“)
8 Articles of association adopted by the court
Material grounds(i) The company meets the requirements of art. 2:263 subsection 3, art. 2:264 subsection 2, 2:265 or 2:265a DCC under the dual-board regime and the full dual-board regime no longer applies to the company and (ii) the general meeting of shareholders fails to amend the articles of association.Admissibility requirementsAny shareholder entitled to place matters on the agenda of the general meeting of shareholders pursuant to article 2:224a DCC.Legal basisArt 2:264 subsections 5 and 6 DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal of Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
Material grounds
(i) The company meets the requirements of art. 2:263 subsection 3, art. 2:264 subsection 2, 2:265 or 2:265a DCC under the dual-board regime and the full dual-board regime no longer applies to the company and (ii) the general meeting of shareholders fails to amend the articles of association.
Admissibility requirements
Any shareholder entitled to place matters on the agenda of the general meeting of shareholders pursuant to article 2:224a DCC.
Legal basis
Art 2:264 subsections 5 and 6 DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal of Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
VI. Other actions for shareholders in public companies („naamloze vennootschappen“) and private limited companies („besloten vennootschappen met beperkte aansprakelijkheid“)
9. Mergers and divisions
9.1 Annulment of legal merger of company
Material grounds(i) The deed of merger signed by the notary does not constitute an authentic document, (ii) on account of non-compliance with the art 2:310 subsections 5 and 6, article 316 subsection 4 or article 2:318 subsection 2 DCC, (iii) on account of nullity, invalidity, or grounds for annulment of a resolution of the general meeting required for the merger, (iv) or on account of non-compliance with art 2:317 subsection 5 DCC.Admissibility requirementsIn its capacity of shareholder. The right to claim annulment shall lapse by the curing of the default or on the expiry of six months after the lodging of the deed of merger at the public registries within the districts where the merged companies have their principal place of business.Legal basisArt 2:323 subsection 2 DCC.Competent courtThe district court -> within whose jurisdiction the transferee-legal person has its principal place of business.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsThe merger shall not be annulled (i) if the company has cured the default within a period to be set by the court, or (ii) if the consequences of a merger, which have already taken effect, can hardly be made undone.. The court may order the company to compensate any loss incurred by a party claiming annulment of the merger on the grounds of a default which could have resulted in annulment, if such court does not annul the merger. The company shall have recourse therefore against the persons responsible for the default and, to the extent of the benefit enjoyed, against those who benefited from such default.Key case law<i>Court of Amsterdam, 6 February 2002, JOR 2002/61 (Leyinvest/Vendex KBB)</i> If the six month term has expired, the shareholder cannot institute a claim for annulment. The expiry period of six months does however not apply to the right to claim compensation pursuant to art. 2:323 subsection 5 DCC.
Material grounds
(i) The deed of merger signed by the notary does not constitute an authentic document, (ii) on account of non-compliance with the art 2:310 subsections 5 and 6, article 316 subsection 4 or article 2:318 subsection 2 DCC, (iii) on account of nullity, invalidity, or grounds for annulment of a resolution of the general meeting required for the merger, (iv) or on account of non-compliance with art 2:317 subsection 5 DCC.
Admissibility requirements
In its capacity of shareholder.
The right to claim annulment shall lapse by the curing of the default or on the expiry of six months after the lodging of the deed of merger at the public registries within the districts where the merged companies have their principal place of business.
Legal basis
Art 2:323 subsection 2 DCC.
Competent court
The district court -> within whose jurisdiction the transferee-legal person has its principal place of business.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
The merger shall not be annulled (i) if the company has cured the default within a period to be set by the court, or (ii) if the consequences of a merger, which have already taken effect, can hardly be made undone..

The court may order the company to compensate any loss incurred by a party claiming annulment of the merger on the grounds of a default which could have resulted in annulment, if such court does not annul the merger. The company shall have recourse therefore against the persons responsible for the default and, to the extent of the benefit enjoyed, against those who benefited from such default.
Key case law
Court of Amsterdam, 6 February 2002, JOR 2002/61 (Leyinvest/Vendex KBB)
If the six month term has expired, the shareholder cannot institute a claim for annulment. The expiry period of six months does however not apply to the right to claim compensation pursuant to art. 2:323 subsection 5 DCC.
9.2 Compensation for loss of shares in case of merger
Material grounds(i) If the transferee-company is a company under the law of another member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, (ii) the shareholder of the company disappearing as a result of the merger, (iii) who voted against the merger proposal, can file a request for indemnification.Admissibility requirementsThe claim has to be filed within one month from the date of resolution of the disappearing company to merge.Legal basisArt 2:333h subsections 1 and 2 DCC.Competent courtThe chairman of the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.Other specificsIn the absence of agreement the compensation shall be determined by one or more independent experts appointed at the request of the party initiating such proceedings. For the purpose of this article shareholders shall be equated with holders of depositary receipts for shares as referred to in article 2:118a DCC.
Material grounds
(i) If the transferee-company is a company under the law of another member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, (ii) the shareholder of the company disappearing as a result of the merger, (iii) who voted against the merger proposal, can file a request for indemnification.
Admissibility requirements
The claim has to be filed within one month from the date of resolution of the disappearing company to merge.
Legal basis
Art 2:333h subsections 1 and 2 DCC.
Competent court
The chairman of the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
Other specifics
In the absence of agreement the compensation shall be determined by one or more independent experts appointed at the request of the party initiating such proceedings. For the purpose of this article shareholders shall be equated with holders of depositary receipts for shares as referred to in article 2:118a DCC.
9.3 Annulment of legal division of company
Material grounds(i) The deed of division signed by the notary does not constitute an authentic document, (ii) on account of non-compliance with the articles 2:334b subsections 5 or 6, article 334l subsection 3 or the first sentence of article 2:334n subsection 2, (iii) on account of nullity, invalidity, or grounds for avoidance of a resolution of the general meeting required for the division, (iv) or on account of non-compliance with article 2:334m subsection 5 DCC.Admissibility requirementsIn its capacity of shareholder. The right to institute a claim for annulment shall lapse by the curing of the default or on the expiry of six months after the lodging of the deed of division at the public registries within the district where the transferee companies and the divided company have their place of business.Legal basisArt 2:334u subsections 2 and 3 DCC.Competent courtThe district court -> within whose jurisdiction the transferee-legal person has its place of business.AppealYes, court of appeal.Other specificsThe division shall not be annulled (i) if the company has cured the default within a period to be set by the court, or (ii) if the consequences of division, which have already taken effect, can hardly be made undone.
Material grounds
(i) The deed of division signed by the notary does not constitute an authentic document, (ii) on account of non-compliance with the articles 2:334b subsections 5 or 6, article 334l subsection 3 or the first sentence of article 2:334n subsection 2, (iii) on account of nullity, invalidity, or grounds for avoidance of a resolution of the general meeting required for the division, (iv) or on account of non-compliance with article 2:334m subsection 5 DCC.
Admissibility requirements
In its capacity of shareholder.
The right to institute a claim for annulment shall lapse by the curing of the default or on the expiry of six months after the lodging of the deed of division at the public registries within the district where the transferee companies and the divided company have their place of business.
Legal basis
Art 2:334u subsections 2 and 3 DCC.
Competent court
The district court -> within whose jurisdiction the transferee-legal person has its place of business.
Appeal
Yes, court of appeal.
Other specifics
The division shall not be annulled (i) if the company has cured the default within a period to be set by the court, or (ii) if the consequences of division, which have already taken effect, can hardly be made undone.
10. Regulation of disputes
10.1 Action to expel shareholders
Material groundsShareholders conduct harming the interest of the company to such extent that the continuation of the shareholding cannot be reasonably tolerated.Admissibility requirementsOne or more shareholders who, solely or jointly, contribute at least one-third of the issued capital. The claimants are not admissible if the articles of association or an agreement contain provisions for dispute resolution between shareholders, unless such provisions can not be applied.Legal basisArt 2:336 DCC.Competent courtThe district court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.Other specificsThe action to expel shareholders can not be initiated by the company or any of its subsidiaries. A shareholder, depositary receipts in respect of which are held by the company or a subsidiary, may institute proceedings only if and insofar as depositary receipts are held by others. A shareholder who holds shares as a nominee may institute proceedings only if and insofar as the holders of depositary receipts have agreed in advance thereto. If judgment is given for the claimants, the court shall appoint one or three experts to report in writing on the price of the shares. The experts shall prepare their report taking into account the provisions on the valuation of shares in the provisions on the restriction on transfer.Key case law<i>The Supreme Court, 8 December 1993, NJ 1994/273 (Van den Berg)</i> If adopting resolutions are blocked or paralysed by two shareholders due to their conduct and these shareholders try to dismiss the director without any reason, the interest of the company is prejudiced to such an event that the continuation of his shareholding cannot reasonably be tolerated. <i>The Supreme Court, January 21, 2005, NJ 2005/126 (Hoffmann)</i> The court can decide not to appoint one or three experts in case the articles of association of the company contain transfer restrictions, that include such a criterion for value appraisal of shares, that the value of the shares can be unreservedly stipulated by the judge on the basis of that criterion.
Material grounds
Shareholders conduct harming the interest of the company to such extent that the continuation of the shareholding cannot be reasonably tolerated.
Admissibility requirements
One or more shareholders who, solely or jointly, contribute at least one-third of the issued capital. The claimants are not admissible if the articles of association or an agreement contain provisions for dispute resolution between shareholders, unless such provisions can not be applied.
Legal basis
Art 2:336 DCC.
Competent court
The district court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Other specifics
The action to expel shareholders can not be initiated by the company or any of its subsidiaries. A shareholder, depositary receipts in respect of which are held by the company or a subsidiary, may institute proceedings only if and insofar as depositary receipts are held by others. A shareholder who holds shares as a nominee may institute proceedings only if and insofar as the holders of depositary receipts have agreed in advance thereto.

If judgment is given for the claimants, the court shall appoint one or three experts to report in writing on the price of the shares. The experts shall prepare their report taking into account the provisions on the valuation of shares in the provisions on the restriction on transfer.
Key case law
The Supreme Court, 8 December 1993, NJ 1994/273 (Van den Berg)
If adopting resolutions are blocked or paralysed by two shareholders due to their conduct and these shareholders try to dismiss the director without any reason, the interest of the company is prejudiced to such an event that the continuation of his shareholding cannot reasonably be tolerated.

The Supreme Court, January 21, 2005, NJ 2005/126 (Hoffmann)
The court can decide not to appoint one or three experts in case the articles of association of the company contain transfer restrictions, that include such a criterion for value appraisal of shares, that the value of the shares can be unreservedly stipulated by the judge on the basis of that criterion.
10.2 Transfer voting rights against usufructuary or pledgee of a share
Material groundsIf the usufructuary or pledgee of a share by his conduct prejudices the interest of the company to such an event that the continuation of his exercise of the right to vote cannot reasonably be tolerated, demanding that the right to vote in respect of the share shall be transmitted to the holder of the share.Admissibility requirementsOne or more shareholders who, solely or jointly, contribute at least one-third of the issued capital.Legal basisArt 2:342 DCC.Competent courtThe district court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.Other specificsA copy of the writ of summons must, without delay, be served by the claimants on the shareholder, who is not also a claimant. If judgement is given for the claimants in the proceedings demanding the transmission of the right to vote, the transmission shall take place by the judgment becoming final and binding.
Material grounds
If the usufructuary or pledgee of a share by his conduct prejudices the interest of the company to such an event that the continuation of his exercise of the right to vote cannot reasonably be tolerated, demanding that the right to vote in respect of the share shall be transmitted to the holder of the share.
Admissibility requirements
One or more shareholders who, solely or jointly, contribute at least one-third of the issued capital.
Legal basis
Art 2:342 DCC.
Competent court
The district court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Other specifics
A copy of the writ of summons must, without delay, be served by the claimants on the shareholder, who is not also a claimant. If judgement is given for the claimants in the proceedings demanding the transmission of the right to vote, the transmission shall take place by the judgment becoming final and binding.
10.3 Action to demand that shares shall be acquired
Material groundsIf the shareholder whose rights or interests are prejudiced by the conduct of one or more co-shareholders to such an extent that the continuation of his shareholding can no longer reasonably be expected of him.Admissibility requirementsBeing shareholder of the company.Legal basisArt 2:343 DCC.Competent courtThe district court -> in which the company resides.AppealYes, the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.Other specificsAny shareholder against whom proceedings have been instituted may serve notice on another shareholder joining him as a party to the proceedings, if he is of the opinion that such proceedings should also have been instituted against such other shareholder. If the claimant remains in default in transferring his shares, then the company shall transfer the shares on his behalf against simultaneous payment. If judgment is given for the claimants, the court shall appoint one or three experts to report in writing on the price of the shares. The experts shall prepare their report in accordance with the provisions in respect of the valuation of the shares in the provisions on the restriction on transfer. <b>Key case law</b> <i>The Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 16 March 1995, JOR 1996/54 (Ramp/Lensen)</i> A shareholder competed with the company. The enterprises division of the court of appeal of Amsterdam considered that competing with the company is contrary to the principles of reasonableness and fairness. The other shareholder had been prejudiced by the conduct of the other shareholder who competed with the company to such an extent that the continuation of his shareholding can no longer reasonably be expected. Court of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 10 May 1996, JOR 1998/26 (Hooymans) The continuation of his shareholding can no longer reasonably be expected, due to the fact that he had been dismissed as director, on the basis of which his rights or interests have been prejudiced.
Material grounds
If the shareholder whose rights or interests are prejudiced by the conduct of one or more co-shareholders to such an extent that the continuation of his shareholding can no longer reasonably be expected of him.
Admissibility requirements
Being shareholder of the company.
Legal basis
Art 2:343 DCC.
Competent court
The district court -> in which the company resides.
Appeal
Yes, the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Other specifics
Any shareholder against whom proceedings have been instituted may serve notice on another shareholder joining him as a party to the proceedings, if he is of the opinion that such proceedings should also have been instituted against such other shareholder.

If the claimant remains in default in transferring his shares, then the company shall transfer the shares on his behalf against simultaneous payment.

If judgment is given for the claimants, the court shall appoint one or three experts to report in writing on the price of the shares. The experts shall prepare their report in accordance with the provisions in respect of the valuation of the shares in the provisions on the restriction on transfer.


Key case law
The Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 16 March 1995, JOR 1996/54 (Ramp/Lensen)

A shareholder competed with the company. The enterprises division of the court of appeal of Amsterdam considered that competing with the company is contrary to the principles of reasonableness and fairness. The other shareholder had been prejudiced by the conduct of the other shareholder who competed with the company to such an extent that the continuation of his shareholding can no longer reasonably be expected.

Court of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 10 May 1996, JOR 1998/26 (Hooymans)
The continuation of his shareholding can no longer reasonably be expected, due to the fact that he had been dismissed as director, on the basis of which his rights or interests have been prejudiced.
11. Right of inquiry
11.1 Request for inquiry into policy and conduct of business of the Company
Material groundsIf there appear to be well-founded reasons to doubt the correctness of the policy of the company.Admissibility requirementsOne or more shareholders (or holders of depositary receipts), who solely or jointly, represent at least 10% of the issued capital or who are entitled to an amount in shares or depositary receipts issued therefore with a nominal value of € 225.000 or such lesser amount as provided by the articles of association. Furthermore the applicant has to give advance written notice of their objection against the policy or conduct of business to the board and supervisory board and that such a period has elapsed as is needed to provide the company with a reasonable opportunity to examine such objections and take measures on account thereof.Legal basisArt 2:345 and 2:346 subsection b DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.Other specificsThe inquiry proceedings include two separate proceedings: (1) proceedings to exercise the right to request an investigation into the policy and conduct of business of the company and (2) only if the request is awarded and the independent investigators have filed a report on their findings, proceedings to determine (i) if mismanagement (“wanbeleid”) took place in the company, (ii) whether persons or bodies are responsible for the mismanagement and/or (iii) to order indefinite measures to end the mismanagement. These last proceedings are separately explained in 11.3 of this guide. A great variety of case law exists dealing with the material and procedural issues of these proceedings. The most important case law is described below. Please also note that inquiry proceedings are often combined with a request to order interlocutory measures to prevent the negative consequences for the company as a result of mismanagement for the course of the inquiry proceedings. The specifics of the request for interlocutory measures are explained in 11.2. of this guide. If the enterprises division dismisses the application and decides that, in its opinion, it was not made on reasonable grounds, the company may initiate an action for damages with the enterprises division If the application is granted, the enterprises division shall determine the maximum amount of costs of the inquiry. A selection of Key case law<u>General</u> <i>Supreme Court, 1 february 2002, JOR 2002/29 (De Vries Robbé)</i> The authority to file a request for inquiry proceedings is limited to those who are authorized by law. The company, subject to inquiry, nor the trustee of that company can request for an inquiry into the policy and conduct of business of that company. From this case it follows that these parties can not request for indefinite orders as a result of the inquiry either. <i>Supreme Court, 10 january 21990, NJ 1990, 466 (Ogem)</i> The purposes of the right of inquiry is not only to reorganize and to repair the relationships within the company, but also to achieve transparency and to determine who are responsible for mismanagement. Supreme Court, 18 November 2005, JOR 2005/295 (Unilever) The purposes of the inquiry proceedings are not to solve disputes that are strictly related to rights of property or to investigate the facts behind such disputes. <u>Contents of request</u> <i>Supreme Court, 9 July 2010, JOR 2010/228 (ASMI)</i> A request for an inquiry into the policy and conduct of business of the company only concerns the facts and circumstances that occurred until the moment that the application for the inquiry is filed. However, it can not be ruled out that there will be differed from that rule if there are substantive grounds for it in the proceedings. <u>Authority to award the request</u> <i>Supreme Court, 26 June 2009, JOR 2009/192 (ATR)</i> It is at the discretion of the enterprises division to award the request for an inquiry or not, but the request can only be awarded if based upon well-founded reasons to doubt the correctness of the policy of the company. Though the interests of all parties involved are relevant, the court of appeal above all will have to weigh the interests of the company subject to the request. <u>Investigation into the policy and the conduct of business</u> <i>Supreme Court, 26 June 2009, JOR 2009/192 (ATR)</i> Interested parties are entitled to comment on all aspects of the request for inquiry proceedings and on the investigation (report) itself, even if those interested parties themselves are not authorized to file an request for inquiry proceedings. <i>Supreme Court, 4 February 2005, JOR 2005/58 (Landis)</i> The shareholders of the holding company are under circumstances entitled to file a request into the policy and the conduct of business of a 100 % subsidiary of that holding company. If such circumstances exist, depends on the economical situation. <i>Supreme Court, 6 June 2003, JOR 2003/161 (Scheipar)</i> It is at the discretion primarily of the enterprises division to set the scope and duration of the investigation into the policy and the conduct of business of the company. <i>Supreme Court, 18 April 2003, JOR 2003/110 (RNA)</i> In order to asses the facts and events occurred during the period of the investigation, events that occurred before such period may be relevant and can therefore be taken into consideration. <i>Enterprise division of the court of appeal, 28 December 2006, JOR 2007/67 (KPNQwest)</i> The object of the investigation can not include third parties directly like for instance the accountant or the bank of the company.
Material grounds
If there appear to be well-founded reasons to doubt the correctness of the policy of the company.
Admissibility requirements
One or more shareholders (or holders of depositary receipts), who solely or jointly, represent at least 10% of the issued capital or who are entitled to an amount in shares or depositary receipts issued therefore with a nominal value of € 225.000 or such lesser amount as provided by the articles of association. Furthermore the applicant has to give advance written notice of their objection against the policy or conduct of business to the board and supervisory board and that such a period has elapsed as is needed to provide the company with a reasonable opportunity to examine such objections and take measures on account thereof.
Legal basis
Art 2:345 and 2:346 subsection b DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
Other specifics
The inquiry proceedings include two separate proceedings: (1) proceedings to exercise the right to request an investigation into the policy and conduct of business of the company and (2) only if the request is awarded and the independent investigators have filed a report on their findings, proceedings to determine (i) if mismanagement (“wanbeleid”) took place in the company, (ii) whether persons or bodies are responsible for the mismanagement and/or (iii) to order indefinite measures to end the mismanagement. These last proceedings are separately explained in 11.3 of this guide. A great variety of case law exists dealing with the material and procedural issues of these proceedings. The most important case law is described below. Please also note that inquiry proceedings are often combined with a request to order interlocutory measures to prevent the negative consequences for the company as a result of mismanagement for the course of the inquiry proceedings. The specifics of the request for interlocutory measures are explained in 11.2. of this guide. If the enterprises division dismisses the application and decides that, in its opinion, it was not made on reasonable grounds, the company may initiate an action for damages with the enterprises division If the application is granted, the enterprises division shall determine the maximum amount of costs of the inquiry.
A selection of Key case law
General
Supreme Court, 1 february 2002, JOR 2002/29 (De Vries Robbé)
The authority to file a request for inquiry proceedings is limited to those who are authorized by law. The company, subject to inquiry, nor the trustee of that company can request for an inquiry into the policy and conduct of business of that company. From this case it follows that these parties can not request for indefinite orders as a result of the inquiry either.

Supreme Court, 10 january 21990, NJ 1990, 466 (Ogem)
The purposes of the right of inquiry is not only to reorganize and to repair the relationships within the company, but also to achieve transparency and to determine who are responsible for mismanagement.
Supreme Court, 18 November 2005, JOR 2005/295 (Unilever)
The purposes of the inquiry proceedings are not to solve disputes that are strictly related to rights of property or to investigate the facts behind such disputes.

Contents of request
Supreme Court, 9 July 2010, JOR 2010/228 (ASMI)
A request for an inquiry into the policy and conduct of business of the company only concerns the facts and circumstances that occurred until the moment that the application for the inquiry is filed. However, it can not be ruled out that there will be differed from that rule if there are substantive grounds for it in the proceedings.

Authority to award the request
Supreme Court, 26 June 2009, JOR 2009/192 (ATR)
It is at the discretion of the enterprises division to award the request for an inquiry or not, but the request can only be awarded if based upon well-founded reasons to doubt the correctness of the policy of the company. Though the interests of all parties involved are relevant, the court of appeal above all will have to weigh the interests of the company subject to the request.

Investigation into the policy and the conduct of business
Supreme Court, 26 June 2009, JOR 2009/192 (ATR)
Interested parties are entitled to comment on all aspects of the request for inquiry proceedings and on the investigation (report) itself, even if those interested parties themselves are not authorized to file an request for inquiry proceedings.

Supreme Court, 4 February 2005, JOR 2005/58 (Landis)
The shareholders of the holding company are under circumstances entitled to file a request into the policy and the conduct of business of a 100 % subsidiary of that holding company. If such circumstances exist, depends on the economical situation.

Supreme Court, 6 June 2003, JOR 2003/161 (Scheipar)
It is at the discretion primarily of the enterprises division to set the scope and duration of the investigation into the policy and the conduct of business of the company.

Supreme Court, 18 April 2003, JOR 2003/110 (RNA)
In order to asses the facts and events occurred during the period of the investigation, events that occurred before such period may be relevant and can therefore be taken into consideration.

Enterprise division of the court of appeal, 28 December 2006, JOR 2007/67 (KPNQwest)
The object of the investigation can not include third parties directly like for instance the accountant or the bank of the company.
11.2 Action to install interlocutory measures
Material groundsIn the case an immediate remedy is required in connection with the condition of the Company or in the interest of the investigation as a result of inquiry proceedings as described in 11.1 of this guide.Admissibility requirementsOne or more shareholders (or holders of depositary receipts), who solely or jointly, represent at least 10% of the issued capital or who are entitled to an amount in shares or depositary receipts issued therefore with a nominal value of € 225.000 or such lesser amount as provided by the articles of association. Furthermore the applicant has to give advance written notice of their objection against the policy or conduct of business to the board and supervisory board and that such a period has elapsed as is needed to provide the company with a reasonable opportunity to examine such objections and take measures on account thereof.Legal basisArt 2:349a subsection 2 DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.Other specificsIf the enterprises division will grant the application, it will order such remedy for the duration of the inquiry proceedings as described under 11.1 at most.A selection of Key case law <i>Supreme Court, 19 October 2001, JOR 2002/5 (Skygate)</i> The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam can order immediate remedies that temporarily infringe the current legal relationship within the legal entity, subject to inquiry, and that can lead to irreversible consequences, on condition that the immediately remedies are preliminary and a reasonable weighing of interest has taken place. <i>Supreme Court, 14 September 2007, JOR 2007/238 (Versatel)</i> The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam is authorized to order every immediate remedy, on condition that in view of the consequences of those remedies weighing of interest has taken place and the necessity of the remedies has been sufficiently shown. In this case among other things a supervisory board member was appointed with power, that differs from mandatory law. <i>Supreme Court, 14 December 2007, JOR 2008/11 (DSM)</i> The supreme court considers that the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam can only order immediate remedies before the inquiry has been directed in case of substantial interest. <i>Supreme Court, 13 July 2007, JOR 2007/178 (ABN AMRO)</i> Also in view of interest of third parties the execution of a duly concluded agreement cannot be forbidden by means of an immediate remedy of the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Material grounds
In the case an immediate remedy is required in connection with the condition of the Company or in the interest of the investigation as a result of inquiry proceedings as described in 11.1 of this guide.
Admissibility requirements
One or more shareholders (or holders of depositary receipts), who solely or jointly, represent at least 10% of the issued capital or who are entitled to an amount in shares or depositary receipts issued therefore with a nominal value of € 225.000 or such lesser amount as provided by the articles of association. Furthermore the applicant has to give advance written notice of their objection against the policy or conduct of business to the board and supervisory board and that such a period has elapsed as is needed to provide the company with a reasonable opportunity to examine such objections and take measures on account thereof.
Legal basis
Art 2:349a subsection 2 DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
Other specifics
If the enterprises division will grant the application, it will order such remedy for the duration of the inquiry proceedings as described under 11.1 at most.
A selection of Key case law

Supreme Court, 19 October 2001, JOR 2002/5 (Skygate)
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam can order immediate remedies that temporarily infringe the current legal relationship within the legal entity, subject to inquiry, and that can lead to irreversible consequences, on condition that the immediately remedies are preliminary and a reasonable weighing of interest has taken place.

Supreme Court, 14 September 2007, JOR 2007/238 (Versatel)
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam is authorized to order every immediate remedy, on condition that in view of the consequences of those remedies weighing of interest has taken place and the necessity of the remedies has been sufficiently shown. In this case among other things a supervisory board member was appointed with power, that differs from mandatory law.

Supreme Court, 14 December 2007, JOR 2008/11 (DSM)
The supreme court considers that the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam can only order immediate remedies before the inquiry has been directed in case of substantial interest.

Supreme Court, 13 July 2007, JOR 2007/178 (ABN AMRO)
Also in view of interest of third parties the execution of a duly concluded agreement cannot be forbidden by means of an immediate remedy of the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
11.3 Action for indefinite orders as result of inquiry
Material groundsIf misconduct (<i>“wanbeleid”</i>) is established by the report regarding the policy and conduct of business of the company as also explained in 11.1 of this guide.Admissibility requirementsUpon application of the applicants that originally filed the request for the inquiry proceedings and if the report is available for inspection to them, upon application of others who meet the requirements laid down in art. 2:346 subsection b DCC (see 11.1). The application must be made within two months after the report has been lodged at the office of the clerk of the court.Legal basisArt 2:355 DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation appeal to the supreme court.Other specificsThe orders measures are: (i) the suspension or annulment of a resolution of the managing directors, the supervisory board members, the general meeting or any other constituent body of a legal person, (ii) the suspension or dismissal of one or more directors or supervisory board members, (iii) the temporary appointment of one or more directors or supervisory board members, (iv) the temporary derogation from such provisions in the articles of association as shall be specified by the enterprises division, (v) the temporary transfer of charges to a nominee and (vi) an order for winding up the legal person. This is a limitative list of orders.A selection of Key case law<i>Supreme Court, 10 January 1990, NJ 1990/466 (Ogem)</i> The supreme court considers that not every or incidental failure of policy can be qualified as misconduct as defined in art 2:355 DCC. The failure has to be substantial severe to be qualified as misconduct. Misconduct does not have to show a structural character. Even just one action can result in misconduct, especially if it leads to highly prejudicial consequences. <i>Supreme Court, 27 September 2000, NJ 2000/653 (Gucci)</i> In this case the supreme court decides that the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam can not judge regarding misconduct and can not order remedies if no inquiry has taken place. <i>Supreme Court, 18 April 2003, JOR 2003/110 (RNA)</i> In this case the supreme court considers that the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam uses a correct criterion for misconduct by judging that the conduct of the company was serious imputable and therefore misconduct was established. The supreme court considers as well that just one violation of the corporate standards is not enough to take misconduct for granted. There has to be a qualified „serious imputable” infringement of the concerned standards.
Material grounds
If misconduct (“wanbeleid”) is established by the report regarding the policy and conduct of business of the company as also explained in 11.1 of this guide.
Admissibility requirements
Upon application of the applicants that originally filed the request for the inquiry proceedings and if the report is available for inspection to them, upon application of others who meet the requirements laid down in art. 2:346 subsection b DCC (see 11.1). The application must be made within two months after the report has been lodged at the office of the clerk of the court.
Legal basis
Art 2:355 DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation appeal to the supreme court.
Other specifics
The orders measures are: (i) the suspension or annulment of a resolution of the managing directors, the supervisory board members, the general meeting or any other constituent body of a legal person, (ii) the suspension or dismissal of one or more directors or supervisory board members, (iii) the temporary appointment of one or more directors or supervisory board members, (iv) the temporary derogation from such provisions in the articles of association as shall be specified by the enterprises division, (v) the temporary transfer of charges to a nominee and (vi) an order for winding up the legal person. This is a limitative list of orders.
A selection of Key case law
Supreme Court, 10 January 1990, NJ 1990/466 (Ogem)
The supreme court considers that not every or incidental failure of policy can be qualified as misconduct as defined in art 2:355 DCC. The failure has to be substantial severe to be qualified as misconduct. Misconduct does not have to show a structural character. Even just one action can result in misconduct, especially if it leads to highly prejudicial consequences.

Supreme Court, 27 September 2000, NJ 2000/653 (Gucci)
In this case the supreme court decides that the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam can not judge regarding misconduct and can not order remedies if no inquiry has taken place.

Supreme Court, 18 April 2003, JOR 2003/110 (RNA)
In this case the supreme court considers that the enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam uses a correct criterion for misconduct by judging that the conduct of the company was serious imputable and therefore misconduct was established. The supreme court considers as well that just one violation of the corporate standards is not enough to take misconduct for granted. There has to be a qualified „serious imputable” infringement of the concerned standards.
VII. Other actions for shareholders in listed public companies (“beursgenoteerde naamloze vennootschappen”)
12. Public bid
12.1 Squeeze out following a successful public bid
Material groundsWhen the claimant or claimants satisfy the admissibility requirements.Admissibility requirements(i) Shareholder who made a public bid and holds at least 95% of the issued capital and voting rights of the target company or (ii) if two or more group companies jointly contribute such part and jointly institute proceedings for the transfer to the shareholder who made the public bid. The claim must be instituted against the other shareholders jointly and within three months from expiry of the term for acceptance of the offer.Legal basisArt 2:359c DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation appeal to the supreme court.Other specificsThe court shall fix a fair price for the shares to be transferred on a date to be set by it. Provided that the proceedings are initiated by the bidder within 3 months after the acceptance period, and at least 90% of the shares to which the voluntary public offer relates are acquired, the public offer price is considered a fair price. For mandatory offers, the consideration offered in the bid is presumed to be fair. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned, the court may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred. The squeeze-out price to the minority shareholders is subject to statutory interest from the date specified by the court of the price until transfer.A selection of key case law<i>The Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 24 February 2009, JOR 2009/130 (Hagemeyer)</i> Regarding the day to which the fair price is stipulated, the court considers that the assessment of the price occurs at the time of the judgement or at a moment close to that day, unless a earlier date is claimed and application of that date is not disputed by the defendants and the result of that earlier date is not unfavourable for the defendants. <i>The Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 9 March 2010, JOR 2010/154 (Rodamco)</i> The basis principle will be that the price that has to be paid for the shares has to agree with the value of the shares at the time of the transfer of the shares or at a moment close to that day, unless a higher price is claimed. However, sometimes the price of the offer can be followed.
Material grounds
When the claimant or claimants satisfy the admissibility requirements.
Admissibility requirements
(i) Shareholder who made a public bid and holds at least 95% of the issued capital and voting rights of the target company or (ii) if two or more group companies jointly contribute such part and jointly institute proceedings for the transfer to the shareholder who made the public bid.
The claim must be instituted against the other shareholders jointly and within three months from expiry of the term for acceptance of the offer.
Legal basis
Art 2:359c DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation appeal to the supreme court.
Other specifics
The court shall fix a fair price for the shares to be transferred on a date to be set by it. Provided that the proceedings are initiated by the bidder within 3 months after the acceptance period, and at least 90% of the shares to which the voluntary public offer relates are acquired, the public offer price is considered a fair price. For mandatory offers, the consideration offered in the bid is presumed to be fair. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned, the court may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred.
The squeeze-out price to the minority shareholders is subject to statutory interest from the date specified by the court of the price until transfer.
A selection of key case law
The Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 24 February 2009, JOR 2009/130 (Hagemeyer)
Regarding the day to which the fair price is stipulated, the court considers that the assessment of the price occurs at the time of the judgement or at a moment close to that day, unless a earlier date is claimed and application of that date is not disputed by the defendants and the result of that earlier date is not unfavourable for the defendants.

The Enterprises Division of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, 9 March 2010, JOR 2010/154 (Rodamco)
The basis principle will be that the price that has to be paid for the shares has to agree with the value of the shares at the time of the transfer of the shares or at a moment close to that day, unless a higher price is claimed. However, sometimes the price of the offer can be followed.
12.2 Right of sale following a public bid
Material groundsWhen the claimant or claimants satisfy the admissibility requirements.Admissibility requirementsWithin 3 months from the expiry of the term for acceptance of the offer a shareholder may institute a claim to require a person who made a public offer, who holds at least 95% of the shares and voting rights of the target company or if two or more group companies jointly contribute such part, to acquire the claimant’s shares.Legal basisArt 2:359d DCC.Competent courtThe enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.AppealYes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.Other specificsThe court shall fix a fair price for the shares to be transferred on a date to be set by it. Provided that the proceedings are initiated by the bidder within 3 months after the acceptance period, and at least 90% of the shares to which the voluntary public offer relates are acquired, the public offer price is considered a fair price. For mandatory offers, the consideration offered in the bid is presumed to be fair. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned, the court may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred. The price to the shareholders is subject to statutory interest from the date specified by the court of the price until transfer.
Material grounds
When the claimant or claimants satisfy the admissibility requirements.
Admissibility requirements
Within 3 months from the expiry of the term for acceptance of the offer a shareholder may institute a claim to require a person who made a public offer, who holds at least 95% of the shares and voting rights of the target company or if two or more group companies jointly contribute such part, to acquire the claimant’s shares.
Legal basis
Art 2:359d DCC.
Competent court
The enterprises division of the court of appeal in Amsterdam.
Appeal
Yes, cassation proceedings with the Supreme Court.
Other specifics
The court shall fix a fair price for the shares to be transferred on a date to be set by it. Provided that the proceedings are initiated by the bidder within 3 months after the acceptance period, and at least 90% of the shares to which the voluntary public offer relates are acquired, the public offer price is considered a fair price. For mandatory offers, the consideration offered in the bid is presumed to be fair. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned, the court may order one or three experts to report on the value of the shares to be transferred.
The price to the shareholders is subject to statutory interest from the date specified by the court of the price until transfer.

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