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 2018.
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, as of 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 2018, the average share price was €110.07 while the 52-week range was €85.44 – €120.65 per share. Average daily trading volume as reported by Euronext was 277,313 shares in 2018, compared to 245,621 shares in 2017.
2.3.1. Shareholder Structure
The chart below represents Solvay’s shareholder structure as of December 31, 2018, 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%.
Solvay received the following declarations in 2018:
- Solvac SA gave notice that it held 30.71% of Solvay’s share capital on December 31, 2018;
- Solvay Stock Option Management SPRL notified Solvay, through Solvac SA, that its shareholding amounted to 2.72% on December 31, 2018;
- Blackrock Inc., an institutional investor, gave notice on October 2, 2018, that it holds a 3.40% interest.
The remaining shares for approximately 63% are thereby held by institutional and retail shareholders, with an individual shareholding not exceeding 3%.
At the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, shares were deposited and votes casted in respect of 63.94% 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. Its assets consist exclusively of the Solvay shares, thereby contributing to the anchorage of Solvay.
Solvac’s CEO, Bernard de Laguiche, is a non-independent and non-executive director on Solvay’s Board of Directors.
Solvac’s shares are traded on Euronext Brussels. It has approximately 14,000 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.
Solvay Stock Option Management
Solvay Stock Option Management SPRL, is an indirect subsidiary of Solvay, and hold 2.72% 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 website was fully revamped in 2018.
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.
During our last Investor Update in September, the Executive Committee members communicated the updated Solvay portfolio and illustrated the key markets and main levers that will enable the Group to deliver superior and sustainable value growth.
2.4.1. Interactions with Solvac and Solvay founding families
Solvay has regular meetings with its major shareholder Solvac. It presents to the Solvac Board and participates to events organized by the founding family shareholders. All these interactions are based on public information and new presentation material is shared on Solvay’s website.
In 2018 Solvay management representatives participated at three Solvac board meetings and participated to 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 2018, Solvay participated in 59 events (among which 26 interactions with Executive Committee members), including roadshows and conferences in 18 countries across Europe, America and Asia, as well as reverse roadshows at Solvay’s offices. This resulted in 80 individual meetings. Solvay also hosted a site visit to its research center in Shanghai, China.
2.4.3. Interactions with sell-side analysts
Solvay is covered by 20 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. The sell-side analysts are an essential tool in communicating the information on Solvay to the investor community.
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 sets up face-to-face meetings in London and Brussels.
2.4.4. Interactions with individual investors
Every shareholder has access to clear, comprehensive, transparent information tailored to his or her individual needs through Solvay’s Investors’ Club, or through direct contacts with the investor relations team. In addition, Solvay’s Registered Share Management Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) responds to all queries and requests for information and services. In 2018 Solvay participated in two investor events in Belgium (in Brussels and Antwerp).
Solvay also engages with private banks, regularly interacting with their analysts and occasionally participates in their events.