On 23 May 2019, the Act extending notification obligations for shareholders (Wet uitbreiding meldplichten aandeelhouders, the Act) was published for consultation. Chapter 5.3 of the Act on the Financial Supervision (Wet op het financieel toezicht, AFS) will be amended.

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, AFM) maintains a register for substantial shareholdings and short positions in listed companies. Currently, shareholdings and short positions that are equal to or exceed the lowest threshold of three (3) per cent will have to be notified to the AFM and included in the above mentioned register. In addition, the AFM has to be notified again when the substantial holding or short position reaches, exceeds or falls below a threshold of three (3), five (5), ten (10), fifteen (15), twenty (20), twenty-five (25), thirty (30), forty (40), fifty (50), sixty (60), seventy-five (75) and ninety-five (95) per cent.

The Act introduces an additional threshold of two (2) per cent. This means that shareholdings and short positions as of two (2) per cent will also need to be notified to the AFM and be included in the public register. The reason for introducing the additional threshold is the increased focus on long-term value creation. As a consequence, listed companies will get more insight in who their shareholders are which should make it easier to communicate with them.

The consultation period ends on 4 July 2019.

View the Act (Dutch only), 23 May 2019.