General meetings bringing together up to 5,000 people are authorized

The closed session is well and truly over. Last week, on June 2, France authorized, by decree, the meetings of 800 people. This Tuesday, a new decree prescribing general measures related to the end of the crisis increases the gauge. It allows hearing, conference and meeting rooms to accommodate 5,000 people. The general assemblies (GA) can therefore almost all be held face-to-face. In 2019, only 13 CAC 40 companies brought together more than 1,000 shareholders for their annual high mass. Among them, Sanofi, Michelin, LVMH, Renault, Saint-Gobain. The Air Liquide AGM had gone so far as to bring together 4,000 people.

No more than 65% of the establishment’s capacity

Despite everything, this decree sets an important limit: the number of people accommodated cannot exceed 65% of the establishment’s capacity. And a minimum distance of one seat is left between the seats occupied by each person or each group of up to ten people coming together or having booked together.

It has been two years in a row that the general meetings (GA) of listed companies have been taking place without the physical presence of their shareholders due to general confinement. This has violated, according to some, the fundamental rights of shareholders, especially that of proposing in meeting the appointment or dismissal of directors.

PCR test or vaccinated

Great novelty in this decree, people who will attend AGMs of more than 1,000 people will have to present the result of a PCR test carried out less than 48 hours before entering the establishment, or a document proving that they have been vaccinated.

Technically, this authorization should not disturb the calendar of AGs scheduled between now and June 30 and already convened. These must be held within six months of the closing of the accounts. And reconvening would be too long and too heavy to manage. On the other hand, the new decree will have consequences for ordinary or extraordinary general meetings which will be convened on a particular point, or those of companies with a staggered financial year.

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