The aftermath of a corporate merger often includes unclaimed shares or cash along with frustrated securityholders confused about the process and their actual holdings. In some instances, the post-merger integration process can be costly and highly aggravating. AST prevents the situation from escalating to this point by ensuring that a plan is in place to address all merger-related security transactions. This includes complex account and estate transfer requirements, which can be overlooked in the flurry of merger activity.
Between 10% and 20% of securityholders remain unexchanged months after an acquisition. There are many reasons for this:
- Change of address
- Nonreceipt of securityholder correspondence
- Confusion about the exchange process
- Legal questions that need clarification
Whatever the reason, AST works with companies to locate unexchanged securityholders and inform them of their options for successfully updating their accounts. To do this, we rely on our first-rate search capabilities, including access to multiple secure databases. Once an individual is located, we initiate contact and follow-up with subsequent outreach until the individual takes the required action.
We are persistent in our efforts. This is because both securityholders and issuers have a stake in share exchanges. For the securityholder, ensuring that accounts are up-to-date eliminates the risk of unclaimed property and helps guarantee receipt of future communications, including dividends and other account information.
For stock issuers, locating and assisting unclaimed property helps avoid the costly and time-consuming unclaimed property process. Issuers also avoid costs associated with maintaining these idle accounts. And perhaps most important, proactively supporting your securityholders in this way sends a positive signal that they are a valued part of your organization.
We designate a team of professionals to work closely with your company to pinpoint your specific needs and to customize a post-merger integration plan. We reach out to all securityholders with accurate and thorough information about what the merger will mean to their assets and to ensure highly efficient execution of all securities transactions. We offer our search service at no additional cost.
Our customized solution will help you achieve meaningful contact with securityholders in several ways that include the following:
- Identify and assist as many as 80% of unexchanged securityholders in exchanging or selling their shares, thereby reducing securityholder services costs.
- Identify and minimize risk regarding compliance with escheatment and abandoned property statutes.
- Provide securityholders with options to easily and voluntarily claim their assets, including comprehensive, understandable information about available options.
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