|TRIVAGO N.V. filed this Form 20-F on 03/06/2018|
Our dual-class share structure with different voting rights, and certain provisions in the Amended and Restated Shareholders’ Agreement, limit your ability as a holder of Class A shares to influence corporate matters and could discourage others from pursuing any change of control transactions that holders of our Class A shares may view as beneficial.
We have a dual-class share structure such that our share capital consists of Class A shares and Class B shares. In respect of matters requiring the votes of shareholders, based on our dual-class share structure, holders of Class A shares are entitled to one vote per share, while holders of Class B shares are entitled to ten votes per share. Each Class B share is convertible into one Class A share at any time by the holder thereof, while Class A shares are not convertible into Class B shares under any circumstances. Each of our ADSs represents one Class A share.
As of December 31, 2017, Expedia owned Class B shares representing 59.6% of our share capital and 64.7% of the voing power in us, and the Founders owned Class B shares representing 31.6% of our share capital and 34.3% of the voting power in us due to the disparate voting powers associated with our dual-class share structure. See “Item 7 A. Major shareholders and related party transactions—Major shareholders.” As a result of the dual-class share structure and the concentration of ownership, as well as the terms of the Amended and Restated Shareholders’ Agreement, Expedia and the Founders have considerable influence over matters such as decisions regarding mergers, consolidations and the sale of all or substantially all of our assets, appointment and dismissal of management board members and supervisory board members and other significant corporate actions. This concentration of ownership may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company, which could have the effect of depriving the holders of ADSs (representing Class A shares) of the opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and may reduce the price of our Class A shares. This concentrated control limits your ability to influence corporate matters that holders of Class A shares may view as beneficial.
German and European insolvency laws are substantially different from U.S. insolvency laws and may offer our shareholders less protection than they would have under U.S. insolvency laws.
As a company with its registered office in Germany, we are subject to German insolvency laws in the event any insolvency proceedings are initiated against us including, among other things, Council Regulation (EC) No. 1346/2000 of May 29, 2000 on insolvency proceedings (which has been replaced by Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 20, 2015 on insolvency proceedings as of June 2017). Should courts in another European country determine that the insolvency laws of that country apply to us in accordance with and subject to such EU regulations, the courts in that country could have jurisdiction over the insolvency proceedings initiated against us. Insolvency laws in Germany or the relevant other European country, if any, may offer our shareholders less protection than they would have under U.S. insolvency laws and make it more difficult for them to recover the amount they could expect to recover in a liquidation under U.S. insolvency laws.
Dutch law and our articles of association may contain provisions that may discourage a takeover attempt.
Dutch law and provisions of our articles of association may in the future impose various procedural and other requirements that would make it more difficult for shareholders to effect certain corporate actions and would make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us or to effect a change in the composition of our management board and supervisory board. For example, such provisions include a dual-class share structure that gives greater voting power to the Class B shares owned by Expedia and our Founders, the binding nomination structure for the appointment of our management board members and supervisory board members, and the provision in our articles of association which provides that certain shareholder decisions can only be passed if proposed by our management board.