DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN DEPOSITARY SHARES
Citibank, N.A. (the “Depositary”) has agreed to act as the depositary bank for the American Depositary Shares. Citibank’s depositary offices are located at 388 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10013. American Depositary Shares are frequently referred to as “ADSs” and represent ownership interests in securities that are on deposit with the depositary bank. ADSs may be represented by certificates that are commonly known as “American Depositary Receipts” or “ADRs.” The depositary bank typically appoints a custodian to safekeep the securities on deposit. In this case, the custodian is Citibank, N.A. London Branch, having its principal office at Citigroup Centre, Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LB, England.
We have appointed Citibank as depositary bank pursuant to a deposit agreement. A copy of the deposit agreement is on file with the SEC under cover of a Registration Statement on Form F-6. A copy of the deposit agreement is available from the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov). Please refer to Registration Number 333-203642, Registration Number 333-212714 or Registration Number 333-233560 when retrieving such copy.
“Holder” means the person or persons in whose name an ADS is registered on the register maintained by the Depositary for such purpose.
Each ADS represents the right to receive 12 ordinary shares, each of which is frequently referred to as a “Share” or collectively, as “Shares”, on deposit with the custodian. An ADS also represents the right to receive any other property received by the depositary bank or the custodian on behalf of the owner of the ADS but that has not been distributed to the owners of ADSs because of legal restrictions or practical considerations. The custodian, the depositary bank and their respective nominees will hold all deposited property for the benefit of the holders and beneficial owners of ADSs. The deposited property does not constitute the proprietary assets of the depositary bank, the custodian or their nominees. Beneficial ownership in the deposited property will under the terms of the deposit agreement be vested in the beneficial owners of the ADSs. The depositary bank, the custodian and their respective nominees will be the record holders of the deposited property represented by the ADSs for the benefit of the holders and beneficial owners of the corresponding ADSs. Owners of ADSs will be able to exercise beneficial ownership interests in the deposited property only through the registered holders of the ADSs, by the registered holders of the ADSs (on behalf of the applicable ADS owners) only through the depositary bank, and by the depositary bank (on behalf of the owners of the corresponding ADSs) directly, or indirectly through the custodian or their respective nominees, in each case upon the terms of the deposit agreement.
If you become an owner of ADSs, you will become a party to the deposit agreement and therefore will be bound to its terms and to the terms of any ADR that represents your ADSs. The deposit agreement and the ADR specify our rights and obligations as well as your rights and obligations as owner of ADSs and those of the depositary bank. As an ADS holder, you appoint the depositary bank to act on your behalf in certain circumstances. The deposit agreement and the ADRs are governed by New York law. However, our obligations to the holders of Shares will continue to be governed by the laws of England and Wales, which may be different from the laws in the United States.
In addition, applicable laws and regulations may require you to satisfy reporting requirements and obtain regulatory approvals in certain circumstances. You are solely responsible for complying with such reporting requirements and obtaining such approvals. Neither the depositary bank, the custodian, us nor any of their or our respective agents or affiliates shall be required to take any actions whatsoever on your behalf to satisfy such reporting requirements or obtain such regulatory approvals under applicable laws and regulations.
As an owner of ADSs, we will not treat you as one of our shareholders and you will not have direct shareholder rights. The depositary bank will hold on your behalf the shareholder rights attached to the Shares underlying your ADSs. As an owner of ADSs you will be able to exercise the shareholders rights for the Shares represented by your ADSs through the depositary bank only to the extent contemplated in the deposit agreement. To exercise any shareholder rights not contemplated in the deposit agreement you will, as an ADS owner, need to arrange for the cancellation of your ADSs and become a direct shareholder.
Dividends and Distributions
Holders generally have the right to receive the distributions we make on the securities deposited with the custodian. A Holder’s receipt of these distributions may be limited, however, by practical considerations and legal limitations. Holders will receive such distributions under the terms of the deposit agreement in proportion to the number of ADSs held as of the specified record date, after deduction of the applicable fees, taxes and expenses.