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The extension builds on recent measures allowing companies to hold meetings such as AGMs via video conference.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that the time frame within which public companies must hold their annual general meetings has been extended due to roadblocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ASIC Corporations (Extension of Time to Hold AGMs) Instrument 2021/770 grants all public companies with balance dates between 21 February 2021 and 7 July 2021 an additional two months to hold their AGM.
For public companies limited by guarantee with balance dates between 24 January 2021 and 7 April 2021, the timeline for holding their annual general meetings has been extended by four months.
This legislative instrument formalises and adds to the no-action position ASIC has taken, giving companies with balance dates up to 7 July 2021 an additional two months to hold AGMs.
A statement from ASIC said the extension recognised that allowances were needed to accommodate companies preparing for the upcoming AGM season while restrictions on gathering and movement hampered the ability to convene.
The extension builds on recent measures to add flexibility to AGM requirements by permitting the holding of business meetings such as AGMs using technology. The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Act 2021 sets out the allowance for this practice through 31 March 2022, with a further bill expected to reach Parliament making the measures permanent.
ASIC noted that directors of eligible companies need to comply with their directors’ duties in deciding whether it is appropriate to rely on ASIC’s relief.