Novo Nordisk’s share capital is divided between A shares and B shares. All A shares are held by Novo A/S, a Danish public limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which is a commercial, profit-making foundation. Its formal purpose is to provide a stable basis for its companies’ operations and to make contributions to scientific, humanitarian and social progress.
Novo A/S was established to manage the Foundation's funds and to invest actively in other companies.
The B shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London and in the form of ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange. Each A share (= nominal value 1 Danish krone) carries 10 votes and each B share (= nominal value 1 Danish krone) carries one vote.
The Board of Directors believes that the current capital and share structure of Novo Nordisk serves the interests of the shareholders and the company.
With 25.5% of the total share capital, Novo A/S controls 71.7% of the total number of votes, excluding treasury shares. The total market value of Novo Nordisk’s B shares excluding treasury shares was 135 billion Danish kroner at the end of 2008.
All A and B shares in Novo Nordisk A/S, previously held by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, were transferred to Novo A/S on 31 December 1999. They currently represent 25.5% of the total share capital and 68.5% of the total number of votes. This figure is not adjusted for Novo Nordisk A/S' holding of treasury shares. This means that Novo A/S has the voting majority at the company's Annual General Meeting.