07 Jan 2022
IDX Recognizes Dual-Class Shares in Move to Boost Tech Listings
Indonesia has emerged as a fertile breeding ground for tech startups over the last decade or more. Many of these have grown exponentially, with some now having valuations in excess of USD 1 billion (unicorns) and even USD 10 billion (decacorns).
However, only a small number have listed so far on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). This is unfortunate as the listing of a couple of decacorns or unicorns would significantly increase the local bourse’s market capitalization. The IDX’s Start-Up Development Unit once stated that the bourse’s market cap could potentially be boosted by some 8% if the six largest Indonesia unicorns were to list.
To encourage more tech companies to take out listings, the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) recently issued a new regulation on dual-class shares: Financial Services Authority Regulation Number 22/POJK.04/2021 (POJK 22). It introduces to Indonesia a concept long established on the New York Stock Exchange, and which recently gained traction in this region with the decisions of both the Hong Kong and Singapore exchanges in 2018 to permit dual-class shares. Household-name tech companies that rely on this share structure include Alphabet (Google), Meta (formerly Facebook) and Alibaba.
In this update, we will briefly describe the concept and its implementation in Indonesia, as prescribed by POJK 22.
What are dual-class shares?
In essence, dual-class shares are designed to confer weighted voting rights on holders of a particular type of share in order to help the holders retain control of the company. In practice, this means that a company will issue two different classes of share that confer different rights on their holders. POJK 22 facilitates the concept via the introduction of shares with multiple voting rights (SMVR). These are shares that confer more than one vote.
How will the SMVR concept work in practice?
Under POJK 22, only eligible companies are permitted to issue SMVRs during an initial public offering (IPO). To be eligible, the company must meet at least the following criteria:
The first group of shareholders to hold SMVR shares must be approved by a general meeting of shareholders (GMS) and be listed in the IPO prospectus. After the completion of the IPO, the parties eligible to hold SMVR shares are as follows:
If the shareholders are legal entities, they must also meet the following requirements:
A company issuing SMVRs should note the following: (i) SMVRs have a maximum validity period, on the expiry of which they must be converted into ordinary shares; (ii) SMVR shareholders are prohibited from selling their SMVRs within two years after the effective date of the registration statement (lock-in period), and must first offer them to the other SMVR shareholders if they wish to sell them after the expiry of the lock-in period; and (iii) POJK 22 set outs permitted ratios of SMVRs to ordinary shares having regard to the percentage of SMVR shareholders in the company.
The introduction of dual-class shares may hopefully encourage Indonesian unicorns and decacorns to list on the IDX, while the issuance of SMVRs during an IPO should help to allay the concerns of founders and investors over potential loss of company control. Through the use of SMVRs, they may continue to retain control despite holding a lower percentage of shares compared with those in the hands of the investing public.
This ABNR News and its contents are intended solely to provide a general overview, for informational purposes, of selected recent developments in Indonesian law. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Accordingly, ABNR accepts no liability of any kind in respect of any statement, opinion, view, error, or omission that may be contained in this legal update. In all circumstances, you are strongly advised to consult a licensed Indonesian legal practitioner before taking any action that could adversely affect your rights and obligations under Indonesian law.