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180.0720 History History: 1989 a. 303.
180.0721 180.0721 Voting entitlement of shares.
180.0721(1) (1) Except as provided in subs. (2) and (4) and s. 180.1150, or unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise, each outstanding share, regardless of class, is entitled to one vote on each matter voted on at a shareholders' meeting. Only shares are entitled to vote.
180.0721(2) (2) The shares of a domestic corporation are not entitled to vote if they are owned, directly or indirectly, by a 2nd domestic corporation or foreign corporation and the first domestic corporation owns, directly or indirectly, a sufficient number of shares entitled to elect a majority of the directors of the 2nd domestic corporation or foreign corporation.
180.0721(3) (3)Subsection (2) does not limit the power of a domestic corporation or foreign corporation to vote any shares, including its shares, held by it in a fiduciary capacity.
180.0721(4) (4) Redeemable shares are not entitled to vote after written notice of redemption that complies with s. 180.0141 is mailed to the holders and a sum sufficient to redeem the shares has been deposited with a bank, trust company or other financial institution under an irrevocable obligation to pay the holders the redemption price on surrender of the shares.
180.0721 History History: 1989 a. 303; 1991 a. 16.
180.0722 180.0722 Proxies.
180.0722(1)(1) A shareholder may vote his or her shares in person or by proxy.
180.0722(2)(a)(a) A shareholder entitled to vote at a meeting of shareholders, or to express consent or dissent in writing to any corporate action without a meeting of shareholders, may authorize another person to act for the shareholder by appointing the person as proxy. An appointment of a proxy may be in durable form as provided in ch. 244.
180.0722(2)(b) (b) Without limiting the manner in which a shareholder may appoint a proxy under par. (a), a shareholder or the shareholder's authorized officer, director, employee, agent or attorney-in-fact may use any of the following as a valid means to make such an appointment:
180.0722(2)(b)1. 1. Appointment of a proxy in writing by signing or causing the shareholder's signature to be affixed to an appointment form by any reasonable means, including, but not limited to, by facsimile signature.
180.0722(2)(b)2. 2. Appointment of a proxy by transmitting or authorizing the transmission of an electronic transmission of the appointment to the person who will be appointed as proxy or to a proxy solicitation firm, proxy support service organization or like agent authorized to receive the transmission by the person who will be appointed as proxy. Every electronic transmission shall contain, or be accompanied by, information that can be used to reasonably determine that the shareholder transmitted or authorized the transmission of the electronic transmission. Any person charged with determining whether a shareholder transmitted or authorized the transmission of the electronic transmission shall specify the information upon which the determination is made.
180.0722(2)(c) (c) Any copy, facsimile telecommunication or other reliable reproduction of the information in the appointment form under par. (b) 1. or the electronic transmission under par. (b) 2. may be substituted or used in lieu of the original appointment form or electronic transmission for any purpose for which the original appointment form or electronic transmission could be used, but only if the copy, facsimile telecommunication or other reliable reproduction is a complete reproduction of the information in the original appointment form or electronic transmission.
180.0722(3) (3) An appointment of a proxy is effective when a signed appointment form or an electronic transmission of the appointment is received by the inspector of election or the officer or agent of the corporation authorized to tabulate votes. An appointment is valid for 11 months unless a different period is expressly provided in the appointment.
180.0722(4)(a)(a) An appointment of a proxy is revocable unless the appointment form or electronic transmission states that it is irrevocable and the appointment is coupled with an interest. Appointments coupled with an interest include, but are not limited to, the appointment of any of the following:
180.0722(4)(a)1. 1. A pledgee.
180.0722(4)(a)2. 2. A person who purchased or agreed to purchase the shares.
180.0722(4)(a)3. 3. A creditor of the corporation who extended it credit under terms requiring the appointment.
180.0722(4)(a)4. 4. An employee or officer of the corporation whose employment contract requires the appointment.
180.0722(4)(a)5. 5. A party to a voting agreement created under s. 180.0731.
180.0722(4)(b) (b) An appointment made irrevocable under par. (a) is revoked when the interest with which it is coupled is extinguished.
180.0722(5) (5) The death or incapacity of the shareholder appointing a proxy does not affect the right of the corporation to accept the proxy's authority unless the secretary or other officer or agent of the corporation authorized to tabulate votes receives notice of the death or incapacity before the proxy exercises his or her authority under the appointment.
180.0722(6) (6) Notwithstanding sub. (4), a transferee for value of shares subject to an irrevocable appointment may revoke the appointment if the transferee did not know of its existence when he or she acquired the shares and the existence of the irrevocable appointment was not noted conspicuously on the certificate representing the shares or, if the shares are without certificates, on the information statement for the shares.
180.0722(7) (7) Subject to s. 180.0724 and to any express limitation on the proxy's authority stated in the appointment form or electronic transmission, a corporation may accept the proxy's vote or other action as that of the shareholder making the appointment.
180.0722(8) (8) A proxy appointed in connection with a shareholder vote under s. 180.1150 (5):
180.0722(8)(a) (a) Notwithstanding sub. (4), may be revoked at any time by openly stating the revocation at a shareholder meeting or appointing a new proxy in the manner provided under sub. (2) (b).
180.0722(8)(b) (b) Shall be solicited and appointed apart from the sale of or offer to purchase shares of the resident domestic corporation, as defined in s. 180.1150 (1) (c).
180.0722(8)(c) (c) May not be solicited sooner than 30 days before the meeting called under s. 180.1150 (5), unless otherwise agreed in writing by the person acting under s. 180.1150 and the directors of the resident domestic corporation, as defined in s. 180.1150 (1) (c).
180.0722 History History: 1989 a. 303; 1997 a. 27; 1999 a. 9; 2009 a. 319.
180.0723 180.0723 Shares held by nominees.
180.0723(1) (1) A corporation may establish a procedure by which the beneficial owner of shares that are registered in the name of a nominee is recognized by the corporation as the shareholder. The extent of this recognition may be determined in the procedure.
180.0723(2) (2) The procedure may set forth all of the following:
180.0723(2)(a) (a) The types of nominees to which it applies.
180.0723(2)(b) (b) The rights or privileges that the corporation recognizes in a beneficial owner.
180.0723(2)(c) (c) The manner in which the nominee selects the procedure.
180.0723(2)(d) (d) The information that must be provided when the procedure is selected.
180.0723(2)(e) (e) The period for which selection of the procedure is effective.
180.0723(2)(f) (f) Other aspects of the rights and duties created.
180.0723 History History: 1989 a. 303.
180.0724 180.0724 Acceptance of instruments showing shareholder action.
180.0724(1)(1) If the name signed on a vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment corresponds to the name of a shareholder, the corporation, if acting in good faith, may accept the vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment and give it effect as the act of the shareholder.
180.0724(2) (2) If the name signed on a vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment does not correspond to the name of its shareholder, the corporation, if acting in good faith, may accept the vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment and give it effect as the act of the shareholder if any of the following apply:
180.0724(2)(a) (a) The shareholder is an entity and the name signed purports to be that of an officer or agent of the entity.
180.0724(2)(b) (b) The name signed purports to be that of a personal representative, guardian, or conservator representing the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence of fiduciary status acceptable to the corporation is presented with respect to the vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment.
180.0724(2)(c) (c) The name signed purports to be that of a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy of the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence of this status acceptable to the corporation is presented with respect to the vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment.
180.0724(2)(d) (d) The name signed purports to be that of a pledgee, beneficial owner, or attorney-in-fact of the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence acceptable to the corporation of the signatory's authority to sign for the shareholder is presented with respect to the vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment.
180.0724(2)(e) (e) Two or more persons are the shareholder as cotenants or fiduciaries and the name signed purports to be the name of at least one of the co-owners and the person signing appears to be acting on behalf of all co-owners.
180.0724(3) (3) The corporation may reject a vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment if the secretary or other officer or agent of the corporation who is authorized to tabulate votes, acting in good faith, has reasonable basis for doubt about the validity of the signature on it or about the signatory's authority to sign for the shareholder.
180.0724(4) (4) The corporation and its officer or agent who accepts or rejects a vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment in good faith and in accordance with this section or s. 180.0722 (2) are not liable in damages to the shareholder for the consequences of the acceptance or rejection.
180.0724(5) (5) Corporate action based on the acceptance or rejection of a vote, consent, waiver or proxy appointment under this section or s. 180.0722 (2) is valid unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise.
180.0724 History History: 1989 a. 303; 1999 a. 9; 2001 a. 102.
180.0725 180.0725 Quorum and voting requirements for voting groups.
180.0725(1)(1) Shares entitled to vote as a separate voting group may take action on a matter at a meeting only if a quorum of those shares exists with respect to that matter. Unless the articles of incorporation, bylaws adopted under authority granted in the articles of incorporation or this chapter provides otherwise, a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter by the voting group constitutes a quorum of that voting group for action on that matter.
180.0725(2) (2) Once a share is represented for any purpose at a meeting, other than for the purpose of objecting to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting, it is considered present for purposes of determining whether a quorum exists, for the remainder of the meeting and for any adjournment of that meeting unless a new record date is or must be set for that adjourned meeting.
180.0725(3) (3) If a quorum exists, action on a matter, other than the election of directors under s. 180.0728, by a voting group is approved if the votes cast within the voting group favoring the action exceed the votes cast opposing the action, unless the articles of incorporation, bylaws adopted under authority granted in the articles of incorporation or this chapter requires a greater number of affirmative votes.
180.0725 History History: 1989 a. 303; 1991 a. 16.
180.0726 180.0726 Action by single and multiple voting groups.
180.0726(1)(1) If the articles of incorporation or this chapter provides for voting by a single voting group on a matter, action on that matter is taken when voted upon by the voting group as provided in s. 180.0725.
180.0726(2) (2) If the articles of incorporation or this chapter provides for voting by 2 or more voting groups on a matter, action on that matter is taken only when voted upon by each of those voting groups counted separately as provided in s. 180.0725. Action may be taken by one voting group on a matter even though no action is taken by another voting group entitled to vote on the matter.
180.0726(3) (3) A voting group described in s. 180.0103 (19) (b) constitutes a single voting group for purposes of voting on the matter on which the shares are entitled to vote.
180.0726 History History: 1989 a. 303.
180.0727 180.0727 Greater or lower quorum or greater voting requirements.
180.0727(1)(1) The articles of incorporation may provide, or authorize the bylaws under s. 180.1021 to provide, for a greater or lower quorum requirement or a greater voting requirement for shareholders or voting groups of shareholders than is provided by this chapter.
180.0727(2) (2) An amendment to the articles of incorporation that adds, changes or deletes a greater or lower quorum requirement or a greater voting requirement must meet the same quorum requirement and be adopted by the same vote and voting groups required to take action under the quorum and voting requirements then in effect.
180.0727 History History: 1989 a. 303.
180.0728 180.0728 Voting for directors; cumulative voting.
180.0728(1)(1) Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast by the shares entitled to vote in the election at a meeting at which a quorum is present. In this subsection, "plurality" means that the individuals with the largest number of votes are elected as directors up to the maximum number of directors to be chosen at the election.
180.0728(2) (2) Shareholders do not have a right to cumulate their votes for directors unless the articles of incorporation provide for cumulative voting. If the articles of incorporation contain a statement indicating that all or a designated voting group of shareholders are entitled to cumulate their votes for directors, the shareholders so designated are entitled to multiply the number of votes that they are entitled to cast by the number of directors for whom they are entitled to vote and cast the product for a single candidate or distribute the product among 2 or more candidates.
180.0728(3)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (c), shares entitled under sub. (2) to vote cumulatively may not be voted cumulatively at a particular meeting unless any of the following notice requirements are satisfied:
180.0728(3)(a)1. 1. The meeting notice or proxy statement accompanying the notice states conspicuously that cumulative voting is authorized.
180.0728(3)(a)2. 2. A shareholder who has the right to cumulate his or her votes gives notice that complies with s. 180.0141 to the corporation not less than 48 hours before the time set for the meeting of his or her intent to cumulate his or her votes during the meeting.
180.0728(3)(b) (b) If one shareholder gives notice under par. (a) 2., all other shareholders in the same voting group participating in the election are entitled to cumulate their votes without giving further notice.
180.0728(3)(c) (c) If shares of a corporation that is a close corporation under s. 180.1801 are entitled under sub. (2) to vote cumulatively, the shares may not be voted cumulatively at a particular meeting unless the notice requirement of par. (a) 1. or 2. is satisfied or unless shares were voted cumulatively in the last election of directors.
180.0728(4) (4) For purposes of this section, votes against a candidate are not given legal effect and are not counted as votes cast in an election of directors.
180.0728 History History: 1989 a. 303; 1991 a. 16.
180.0730 180.0730 Voting trusts.
180.0730(1)(1) One or more shareholders may create a voting trust, conferring on a trustee the right to vote or otherwise act for them, by signing an agreement setting out the provisions of the trust and transferring their shares to the trustee. The voting trust agreement may include any provision consistent with the voting trust's purpose. When a voting trust agreement is signed, the trustee shall prepare a list of the names and addresses of all owners of beneficial interests in the trust, together with the number and class of shares each transferred to the trust, and deliver copies of the list and agreement to the corporation's principal office.
180.0730(2) (2) A voting trust becomes effective on the date that the first shares subject to the trust are registered in the trustee's name.
180.0730 History History: 1989 a. 303.
180.0731 180.0731 Voting agreements.
180.0731(1)(1) Two or more shareholders may provide for the manner in which they will vote their shares by signing an agreement for that purpose. A voting agreement created under this section is not subject to s. 180.0730.
180.0731(2) (2) A voting agreement created under this section is specifically enforceable.
180.0731 History History: 1989 a. 303.
180.0740 180.0740 Definitions applicable to ss. 180.0740 to 180.0747. In ss. 180.0740 to 180.0747:
180.0740(1) (1) "Beneficial owner" means a person whose shares are held in a voting trust or held by a nominee on the person's behalf.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)