Solvay’s capital amounts to €1,588,146,240 and comprises 105,876,416 issued shares. No changes were made to the Company’s capital in 2019.
2.2. Solvay Shares
Solvay (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels, its primary listing stock exchange. Solvay has a secondary listing on Euronext Paris. Solvay shares are also traded over the counter (OTC) as a Level 1 sponsored American Depository Receipt (ADR) through Citibank, since October 1, 2016.
Solvay’s stock is a constituent of the BEL20, the main Belgian index. In September 14, 2018 it became part of the Next20 index following the exit from the CAC40 index. The Group is still considered to be the largest (specialty) chemicals company on the Paris stock exchange. Solvay shares are part of other major indexes including the BEL Chemicals, STOXX family (DJ STOXX and DJ Euro STOXX), MSCI index, Euronext 100, Dow Jones Sustainability TM World Index, and FTSE4Good Index.
During 2019, the average share price (at end of day close) was €95.7 while the 52-week range was €84.1 – €110.8 per share. Average daily trading volume as reported by Euronext was 256,047 shares in 2019, compared to 277,313 shares in 2018.
2.3.1. Shareholder Structure
The chart below represents Solvay’s shareholder structure as of December 31, 2019, based on the notifications made by its shareholders. These transparency notifications are required by Belgian law or pursuant to Solvay’s bylaws, when the shareholding crosses the thresholds of 3%, 7.5% or any multiple of 5%.
The latest declarations received by Solvay in 2019:
- Solvac SA gave notice that it held 30.71% of Solvay’s capital on March 28, 2018.
- Solvay Stock Option Management SRL notified Solvay, through Solvac SA, that its shareholding amounted to 2.342% on March 28, 2018.
- Blackrock Inc., an institutional investor, gave notice on November 27, 2019, that it holds a 2.96% interest.
The remaining shares for approximately 64% are thereby held by institutional and retail shareholders.
At the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, shares were deposited and votes casted in respect of 63.40% of Solvay SA’s capital.
Solvay’s major shareholder is Solvac SA, which holds more than 30% of Solvay’s share capital. Solvac SA is a public limited liability company established under Belgian law, founded in 1983 and its assets consist exclusively of the Solvay shares.
Solvac’s shares are traded on Euronext Brussels. It has approximately 13,000 shareholders. Among them, more than 2,300 persons are related to the founding families of Solvay, which combined hold approximately 77% of the Solvac shares.
Solvac has proven that the long-term success of the Company for the benefit of all shareholders has been, and continues to be, the primary purpose of their involvement. This long-term focus is essential for sustained success in our industry. The Board believes that our ownership structure has helped insulate our Company from business cycles and related short-term pressures, while allowing the Board and senior management to focus on our long-term success.
Solvac’s CEO, Bernard de Laguiche, is a non-independent and non-executive director on Solvay’s Board of Directors.
The percentage of capital and the number of shares owned by Solvac SA are published on Solvay’s website.
Solvay Stock Option Management
Solvay Stock Option Management SRL, is an indirect subsidiary of Solvay, and holds 2.342% of Solvay’s capital through shares and purchase options combined. These are held as part of the Group’s strategy to hedge the risk linked to stock options granted by Solvay to senior executives of the Group.
2.4. Relations with investors and analysts
Solvay facilitates an open dialog with the investment community to build long-term relationships. Following the guidelines issued by the FSMA (Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority) it complies with disclosure obligations defined by Belgian law and contained in the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR).
Solvay provides accurate information in a transparent, timely, and meaningful manner to help the investment community understand Solvay’s business and strategy, leading to a fair valuation by the market. Extensive information about Solvay’s business operations, strategy, and financial performance may be found in a wide variety of regulatory and other publications, such as the Annual Integrated report, financial reports and press releases, as well as on the company’s website (www.solvay.com).
The investor relations team is readily accessible by the investment community via email or phone throughout the year. Executive Committee members and the investor relations team also directly interact with various members of the investment community throughout the year via roadshows and investor conferences.
On November 7 2019, Ilham Kadri, CEO released Solvay’s G.R.O.W. strategy, with a clear objective of unleashing the Group’s full potential and accelerating value creation. The value will be generated through differentiated resources allocation and distinct business mandates (Materials, Chemicals and Solutions) together with transversal initiatives enabled by our new Operating Model, Solvay ONE.
2.4.1. Interactions with Solvac and Solvay founding families
Solvay has regular meetings with its major shareholder Solvac. Solvay gives presentations to Solvac’s Board of Directors and participates to events organized by the founding family shareholders. All these interactions are based on public information and new presentation material is always shared on Solvay’s website.
In 2019, Solvay’s management representatives participated at three Solvac board meetings and participated at five events organized by Solvay’s founding families.
2.4.2. Interactions with institutional investors
Solvay undertakes specific actions to interact with institutional investors. Roadshows are organized with Executive Committee members and Investor Relations representatives. They attend investor conferences around the world. The resulting face-to-face interactions enable dialog with the investment community on Solvay’s strategy and business performance.
In 2019, Solvay participated in 37 events (among which 17 interactions were with senior management), consisting of 13 roadshows and 24 conferences in countries across Europe, America and Asia, as well as reverse roadshows at Solvay’s offices.
2.4.3. Interactions with sell-side analysts
Solvay is covered by 24 sell-side analysts who publish active research on the stock. The up-to-date list of covering analysts can be found on Solvay’s website.
Besides the regular individual meetings, emails, phone contacts, Solvay organizes quarterly conference calls between Executive Committee members and the sell-side analysts base following the Group’s results publication. Although specifically geared to analysts, these conference calls are accessible live to all investors and available through replay or transcript on Solvay’s website afterwards. Twice a year, following full and half year results, Solvay also organizes face-to-face meetings in London and Brussels.
2.4.4. Interactions with individual investors
Every investor has access to clear, comprehensive, transparent information tailored to his or her individual needs through a dedicated Shareholders' corner (available in French, Dutch and English). Every investor can also subscribe to the Solvay Investors’ Club. In addition the Solvay Investors Relation team (email@example.com) and Solvay Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) responds to all queries and requests for information and services.
In 2019, Solvay participated to six conferences including three investors’ events in Belgium (in Brussels and Antwerp) and in France (Paris).
Solvay also engages with private banks, regularly interacting with their analysts and occasionally participates in their events dedicated to private investors.