And if Vinci, particularly targeted by the “yellow vests” on the highways, granted a discount to its own shareholders on the tolls? A small investor fumbled the ground but the group quickly closed the door.
“Vinci could create (…) an option of payment of the dividend in kind taking the form of motorway subscriptions with a preferential price”, suggested Jean-Baptiste de Varax, one of the shareholders of the French construction giant , on the occasion of the general assembly of the group Wednesday.
In other words, rather than receiving in their bank account the dividend paid each year – it was for 2018 of 2.67 euros per share – shareholders could choose to touch it via a drawback on tolls.
This would “develop the popular shareholding that would be the best protection against controversy on motorway companies,” says Mr Varax, whose question was posed by mail.
The effect “Yellow Vests”
Highway dealers such as Vinci have often been targeted by the social movement of the “Vests Jaunes” started in late 2018: the latter, whose multiple claims revolve around purchasing power, blocked tolls and organized free passages.
In December, Vinci provoked a controversy and provoked many political critics, even to the government itself, announcing that he wanted to make the past motorists pay for free. He had quickly given up.
Since then, Vinci and his competitors have agreed to make a gesture for regular drivers – 30% off from ten return trips a month – without going back on a further increase in tolls since February.
The construction giant will not go further for its shareholders: he rejected the proposal of Mr. Varax.
“Unfortunately, the group does not have the freedom to offer preferential tariffs to its shareholders on motorways because it is bound by the terms of the concession contracts concluded with the State, which of course provide for a principle of equality of users the toll, “said Patrick Richard, secretary of the board of directors of Vinci.