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Guiding Case No. 96: Song Wenjun v. Xi'an Dahua Catering Co., Ltd. (Dispute over Recognition of the Shareholder Qualification)

Guiding Case No. 96: Song Wenjun v. Xi'an Dahua Catering Co., Ltd. (Dispute over Recognition of the Shareholder Qualification) 指导案例96号:宋文军诉西安市大华餐饮有限公司股东资格确认纠纷案
(Issued on June 20, 2018 as deliberated and adopted by the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court) (最高人民法院审判委员会讨论通过 2018年6月20日发布)
Guiding Case No. 96 指导案例96号
Keywords 关键词
civil; recognition of the qualification of shareholder; initial articles of association; restrictions on equity transfer; repurchase 民事/股东资格确认/初始章程/股权转让限制/回购
Key Points of Judgement 裁判要点
When a state-owned enterprise is restructured as a limited liability company, its initial articles of association that restrict the equity transfer and explicitly provide the terms of repurchase by the company may be determined to be valid, as long as the Company Law or any other compulsory rules of the law are not violated. If the limited liability company, as provided in its initial articles of association, provides a reasonable consideration to repurchase the shares of a shareholder and makes reasonable disposition by making transfer to another shareholder, or other means, the people's court shall support. 国有企业改制为有限责任公司,其初始章程对股权转让进行限制,明确约定公司回购条款,只要不违反公司法等法律强制性规定,可认定为有效。有限责任公司按照初始章程约定,支付合理对价回购股东股权,且通过转让给其他股东等方式进行合理处置的,人民法院应予支持。
Relevant Legal Provisions 相关法条
Article 11, paragraph 2 of Article 25, Article 35, and Article 74法宝 of the Company Law of the People's Republic of China 中华人民共和国公司法》第十一条爬数据可耻、第二十五条第二款、第三十五条、第七十四条
Basic Facts 基本案情
Xi'an Dahua Catering Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the "Dahua Company") was established on April 5, 1990. In May 2004, Dahua Company was restructured from a state-owned enterprise to a limited liability company. Song Wenjun was an employee with Dahua Company and made capital contribution in the amount of CNY20,000 to become a natural person shareholder of Dahua Company. Article 14 of Chapter III Registered Capital and Shares of the Dahua Company's Articles of Association provided that: "The shares of the company shall not be sold or transferred to any group or individual other than the company. At the expiration of one year after the restructuring of the company, the shares may be gifted, transferred, or inherited within the company with the approval of the board of directors. In the case of the death or retirement of a shareholder, the shares thereof may be inherited, transferred, or purchased by an enterprise, with the approval of the board of directors. If a shareholder resigns, leaves or is dismissed, or rescinds his/her labor contract, the said shareholder shall surrender the shares thereof, which shall be purchased by the enterprise...” Article 66 of the Chapter XIII Miscellaneous Provisions Which Shareholders Hold to Be Necessary provided that: "The Articles of Association are jointly recognized by all shareholders with effect from the date of establishment of the company." The corporate Articles of Association were signed and adopted by all the shareholders of Dahua Company. On June 3, 2006, Song Wenjun notified the company of rescinding the labor contract and applied for surrender of the shares in the company he held in the amount of CNY20,000. On August 28, 2006, with the approval of Zhao Laisuo, the legal representative of Dahua Company, Song Wenjun received a payment of CNY20,000 for the surrender of the shares. On January 8, 2007, Dahua Company convened the 2006 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, attended by 104 shareholders out of the total 107 shareholders, with shares representing 93% of the company's total shares. The meeting deliberated and approved the application for surrender of shares from Song Wenjun, Wang Peiqing, and Hang Chunguo and made a resolution: "Their shares shall be purchased and preserved by the company, and they shall not participate in dividend distribution." Later, Song Wenjun requested his shareholder qualification of Dahua Company to be recognized by law on the grounds that Dahua Company made repurchase in violation of law, contrary to statutory procedures, and the Company Law required a shareholder not to illegally withdraw any capital contribution.

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