This excerpt taken from the CCL DEF 14A filed Mar 2, 2009.
ADOPTION OF AMENDED AND RESTATED ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION OF CARNIVAL PLC
Since the adoption of the existing Articles of Association of Carnival plc, at the time of the establishment of the DLC structure, there have been a number of developments in company law in the UK, including most significantly the enactment of the Companies Act 2006. This legislation has given rise to a number of changes to law and practice affecting public listed companies in the UK.
In order to take account of these changes, the directors are proposing that Carnival plc should adopt Amended and Restated Articles of Association which are consistent with current law and practice and with the changes brought about by the Companies Act 2006. The proposed Amended and Restated Articles of Association of Carnival plc are attached as Annex D, and are marked to show the amendments made to the existing Articles of Association of Carnival plc. The principal changes to the existing Articles of Association of Carnival plc, which would be implemented by the adoption of the proposed Amended and Restated Articles of Association of Carnival plc are as follows:
Age limit for directors. The restrictions in the Companies Act 1985 on the appointment of a person aged 70 or over as a director have been repealed. The provisions in the existing articles which disapply such restrictions will therefore be deleted.
Directors conflicts of interest. A new article will allow the board to authorize a director coming into or remaining in a situation in which he has or could have an interest that conflicts with Carnival plcs interests. This power of authorization is permitted under section 175 of the Companies Act 2006. It would be exercised by those directors who are independent of the relevant conflict situation.
Directors indemnification. A new article will confirm that Carnival plc may indemnify a director or purchase directors and officers liability insurance on a directors behalf or fund the directors costs in defending himself or herself in litigation or regulatory proceedings that might be brought against a director in his or her capacity as a director, but in each case only to the extent permitted under the Companies Act 2006. Another new provision will permit any director concerned to be included in the quorum and to vote on any board resolution to approve such an arrangement. The law in relation to these matters has changed significantly since Carnival plc adopted its existing Articles of Association and the proposed amendments to this section of the Articles of Association will make these provisions consistent with current law and practice for UK listed companies.
Electronic communications with shareholders. Various amendments will be made to the provisions in the articles concerning electronic communications so as to make them more consistent with the company communication provisions of the Companies Act 2006.
General meetings. A new provision will allow Carnival plc to hold a general meeting at which a special resolution is to be proposed on 14 days notice, as permitted by the Companies Act 2006, rather than on 21 days notice as required by the existing articles. Annual general meetings will continue to require 21 days notice.
Joint shareholders. A new provision will confirm that the giving of a document or other information by Carnival plc to a joint shareholder with that shareholders agreement, and vice versa, will be effective so far as all the joint shareholders are concerned notwithstanding that it was not necessarily agreed to by the other joint shareholder(s). This is to avoid any such action being ineffective and invalid as a result of a technical infringement of the Companies Act 2006.
Polls. A new provision will allow the chairman of a shareholder meeting, at his discretion, to put a resolution to a vote on a poll without first putting it to a vote on a show of hands. The provision will not prevent a resolution from first being put to a vote on a show hands should the chairman consider it appropriate to do so. The provision is consistent with what has now become usual practice among UK listed companies.
Proxies. New provisions will be added relating to proxies. One will confirm the right that proxies now have under the Companies Act 2006 to speak at shareholder meetings. Another will provide for weekends and public holidays to be disregarded when determining the time by which proxy forms must be lodged prior to a shareholder meeting which is consistent with the relevant sections of the Companies Act 2006. This will enable Carnival plc to fix a deadline for lodging a proxy that is up to 48 hours earlier (and sometimes more) than what is permitted under the existing articles.
Requisitions. Provisions in the existing articles that confer power on shareholders to requisition shareholder meetings or to requisition the circulation of annual general meeting resolutions will be removed. These powers are conferred on shareholders by the Companies Act 2006 and do not need to be replicated in the articles.
Shareholder resolutions and meetings. Various amendments will be made to make the provisions in the existing Articles of Association of Carnival plc concerning shareholder resolutions and meetings consistent with those in the Companies Act 2006. These changes will reduce the risk of a conflict between the Articles of Association of Carnival plc and the Companies Act 2006 which might otherwise jeopardize the validity of any resolution passed at a shareholder meeting.
Statutory references and definitions. References to sections of the Companies Act 1985 will be replaced by references to the corresponding sections in the Companies Act 2006, where applicable. Various new terms will be defined in the definitions section of the Articles of Association of Carnival plc. Certain terms used in the Companies Act 1985 but not in the Companies Act 2006 will be removed from the Articles of Association of Carnival plc. For example (i) references to any extraordinary general meeting will become any general meeting, (ii) references to electronic communications will be replaced by electronic means, and (iii) references to any extraordinary resolution will be replaced by any special resolution or will be removed altogether, and (iv) the Articles of Association of Carnival plc will no longer permit Carnival plc to pass written resolutions since, as a public limited company, it is no longer allowed to do so.