Section 626: Reduction of capital in connection with redenomination
917. Following a redenomination of a company’s share capital, it is likely that the company will be left with shares expressed in awkward fractions of the new currency, for example, 0.997 dollars or 1.01 euros. The company may therefore wish to renominalise the value of the shares affected (that is, alter the nominal value of these shares) to obtain share values in whole units of the new currency. It can do this in one of two ways: if the company has distributable reserves it may capitalise those reserves to increase the nominal value of the shares affected; alternatively, it may reduce its share capital using the procedure set out in section 626.
918. This section enables a company to renominalise the value of its shares by cancelling part of its share capital. A special resolution of the company’s members is required but there is no need for the directors to make a solvency statement or for the company to go to court (as required where a company reduces its share capital under Chapter 10 of this Part).
919. Under subsection (3), a resolution to reduce capital in connection with a redenomination must be passed within 3 months of the resolution to redenominate the company’s share capital.
920. Subsection (4) provides that the amount by which a company can reduce its share capital using this new provision is capped at 10% of the nominal value of the company’s share capital immediately after the reduction. This 10% cap is required by the Second Company Law Directive (77/91/EEC) and applies to any reduction of capital in a public company which is not approved by the court.
921. Where a company reduces its share capital under this section, the amount by which the company’s share capital is reduced must be transferred to a new non-distributable reserve (see section 628).
Section 627: Notice to registrar of reduction of capital in connection with redenomination
922. This section sets out the requirements as to notice where a company reduces its share capital in connection with a redenomination of its share capital (that is, to renominalise the value of its shares). Notice must be given to the registrar in accordance with subsection (1) of this section. This notice must be accompanied by a statement of capital (see note on section 619).
923. The resolution to reduce the share capital must be filed with the registrar in accordance with section 30.
924. The reduction of capital will not take effect until the documents that are required to be delivered to the registrar under subsections (1) and (2) are registered by the registrar (see subsection (5)).
925. In addition to delivering the above documents to the registrar, within 15 days of the date that a resolution to reduce capital in connection with a redenomination is passed, under subsection (6) the company must also deliver to the registrar a statement made by the directors confirming that the reduction of share capital was made in accordance with subsection (4) of section 626.
926. If a company fails to comply with the procedural requirements as to notice the company and every officer of the company commits an offence. The penalty for this offence is set out in subsection (8). In addition, where the statement made by the directors under subsection (6) is misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular, the directors are liable to an offence under section 1112.
Section 628: Redenomination reserve
927. Where a company reduces its share capital under section 626 it must transfer an amount equal to the value of the reduction to a non-distributable reserve known as the redenomination reserve.
928. This section provides that amounts transferred to the redenomination reserve may be used by the company in paying up shares to be allotted to existing members as fully paid bonus shares. Subject to this, the provisions of the Companies Acts relating to the reduction of a company’s share capital, apply to the redenomination reserve as if it were paid-up share capital. These provisions mirror those contained in section 733 (which restates section 170 of the 1985 Act).