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Linde AG follows the German Corporate Governance Code presented by the Government Commission on the German Corporate Governance Code and as amended from time to time. In March 2015, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Linde AG issued a declaration of compliance with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code as amended on 24 June 2014 in accordance with § 161 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG) and made this declaration permanently available to the public on the Linde website.
After the declaration of compliance was issued in March 2015, the German Corporate Governance Code was amended on 5 May 2015. These amendments came into force upon their publication in the official section of the German Federal Gazette on 12 June 2015. The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Linde AG studied the requirements of the German Corporate Governance Code as amended on 5 May 2015 in detail before issuing the following declaration of compliance in March 2016.
“The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of Linde AG declare in accordance with § 161 of the German Stock Corporation Act:
All the recommendations of the Government Commission on the German Corporate Governance Code as amended on 24 June 2014 have been complied with since the last declaration of compliance was issued, and the version amended on 5 May 2015 is currently complied with and will be complied with in the future, except for the following exception.
Clause 4.2.3 para 2 sentence 6
In accordance with clause 4.2.3 para 2 sentence 6 of the German Corporate Governance Code the Executive Board members remuneration in total and as to its variable components should be capped at a given maximum amount. Employment contracts with Executive Board members do not include a ceiling for the Executive Board members’ total remuneration; variable components are capped as is described below.
The components of the variable cash emoluments are limited in terms of amounts. The Long Term Incentive Plan which provides for remuneration in the form of options to purchase shares (performance shares) and bonus shares linked to personal investment (matching shares) has a cap in terms of amounts at the time of the granting of option rights and matching shares rights. However, the value of the performance shares and matching shares after a multi-year qualifying period is not limited in terms of amounts. An additional cap like that was not deemed appropriate. In such a case, the synchronisation of interests of shareholders and Executive Board members to be achieved by sharebased remuneration would be disrupted, which in our opinion would not be in the shareholders interest.
Since in future the value of the performance shares and the matching shares after expiration of a multi-year qualifying period are not to be capped, a ceiling for the remuneration amount will not be set in future.”
The current and former declarations of compliance with the German Corporate Governance Code are available here.
Linde AG also complies with the suggestions made in the Code, with only one exception:
The Code suggests that it should be possible for shareholders to follow the Annual General Meeting via modern communication media (e. g. the Internet). We transmit the opening remarks made by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and also the Chief Executive Officers' speech, but not the general discussion. In principle, the articles of association permit the transmission of the Annual General Meeting in full via electronic media. However, out of respect for shareholders’ privacy, we do not transmit the contributions of individual speakers. Nevertheless, we will continue to follow developments closely.