Frankfurt, Germany, May 9, 2014 – The newly appointed Supervisory Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today elected at its inaugural meeting Wolfgang Büchele as the Chairman of this corporate governance body. Before that, the eight shareholder representatives were newly designated. The eight employee representative members of the Supervisory Board had already been elected in April. The term of office of the previous Supervisory Board members expired upon conclusion of the Annual General Meeting. The new term of office runs until the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting that will resolve on the approval of the actions of the Executive Board for fiscal 2018.
At today's Annual General Meeting, the shareholders also approved the increase of € 0.20 in the dividend to € 1.90, which corresponds to a total dividend payment of approximately € 413 million and a payout ratio of around 31%. Shareholders also voted in favor of the proposed 2:1 share split.
The Annual General Meeting approved the actions of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board for fiscal 2013 by a significant majority and approved all the resolutions except for one. Not approved was resolution 9 relating to the possibility of excluding subscription rights in the case of capital increases through contributions in kind, which was voted on as an amendment to the existing authorized capital.
The reason for not reaching the necessary 75 percent majority are stricter guidelines for foreign investors in comparison to German investors regarding the acceptance of capital measures at annual general meetings.
More than 800 shareholders took part in the Annual General Meeting. When the resolutions were voted on, 41,262,543 shares were represented, corresponding to 63.85% of the approximately 64.6 million shares issued.