Topic Major holdings of voting rights Major holdings of voting rights

Knowledge about changes concerning major holdings of voting rights as regards to companies with shares admitted to trading on an organised market increases the transparency of the capital market and helps investors in making their investment decisions. For that reason, natural and legal persons are obliged to notify BaFin and the listed company in question of the percentage of their holdings of voting rights as soon as these rise above, fall below or reach certain thresholds in the company because of acquisition or disposal of shares or financial instruments or due to other reasons.

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The thresholds are 3%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 50% and 75%. In addition to direct holdings of voting rights, since 20 January 2007 capital market participants have also been required to file notifications when they hold certain financial instruments with which shares can be acquired. In this case, however, the opening threshold is 5%. Changes in voting rights must be reported to the issuer and to BaFin without undue delay – i.e. within four trading days at the latest (section 33 of the German Securities Trading Act (WertpapierhandelsgesetzWpHG)).

The company must also pass on the notification without undue delay, i.e. within three trading days at the latest, to "a combination of media for Europe-wide dissemination" and to the company register, which stores the data.

BaFin has prepared a list of frequently asked questions about the notification and publication requirements and made it available for download below (available only in German). The, compulsory standard form for the notification of major holdings including an attachment (both available in German and English) may also be downloaded below.

Notifications of updates

In order to be kept up-to-date on the FAQ list and the notification form via e-mail, you can set up notifications by sending a request The notification service also includes updates regarding information events organised by BaFin on the subject of major holdings of voting rights, e.g. the “Transparenzworkshop 2016”, which usually is conducted every two years, and details on how to register to participate. You can unsubscribe at any time using the e-mail address given above.

updated on 15.02.2018

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