The board of directors pursues sustainable value creation by Telenet, by setting Telenet's strategy, putting in place effective, responsible and ethical leadership and monitoring Telenet's performance. In order to effectively pursue such sustainable value creation, the board of directors upholds an inclusive approach that balances the legitimate interests and expectations of shareholders and other stakeholders, such as customers, employees, and in general the community in which Telenet is active. The board of directors further advises, supports and monitors the Senior Leadership Team in the fulfillment of its duties and constructively challenges the Senior Leadership Team whenever appropriate. The board members are available to give advice, also outside of board meetings.
Telenet has opted for a "one-tier" governance structure. As a result, the Board is authorized to perform all actions which are necessary or useful for fulfilling the corporate purpose of Telenet, except for those matters which are expressly reserved to the general shareholders' meeting by law, or as specified in the articles of association. In particular, the board of directors represents Telenet and executes the responsibilities entrusted to it by law including, but not limited to, with respect to the budget, important commercial contracts, co-operations and acquisitions, accounting rules, approval of the periodic financial reporting, financing transactions, issuing proposals to the general shareholders' meeting, and external communication to shareholders and other stakeholders. For further details in this respect, reference is made to the Corporate Governance Charter 2020.
The board of directors convenes as often as the interest of the Company requires, sufficiently regularly to perform its duties effectively, and in any case at least four times a year. The functioning of the board of directors is regulated by the articles of association and the provisions of the Corporate Governance Charter.
The board of directors is assisted by two permanent committees: (i) the Audit and Risk Committee, and (ii) the Remuneration and Nomination Committee. In addition, the Board can, on an ad hoc basis set up specialized committees in order to advise the board of directors in respect of decisions to be taken, to give comfort to the board of directors that certain issues have been adequately addressed and, if necessary, to bring specific issues to the attention of the board of directors. The existence of the committees does not decrease the responsibility of the board of directors as a whole and the committees do not have the power to take binding decisions, as the decision making remains the collegial responsibility of the board of directors, nor shall the committees formulate Telenet's strategy.
In the year ended December 31, 2020, six scheduled board of directors meetings and three non-scheduled board of directors meetings took place.
In principle, the decisions are taken by a simple majority of votes. However, the board of directors strives to take the resolutions by consensus.
In accordance with the Corporate Governance Charter, the directors have a duty to place Telenet's interests above their own and will avoid to perform any actions, to defend certain positions, and to pursue certain interests, if this would conflict, or would give the impression to conflict, with the interests of Telenet. When the board of directors takes a decision, the directors shall disregard their potential personal interests and refrain from using business opportunities intended for Telenet for their own benefit.
Board members are required to inform the board of directors of any conflict of interests that could in their opinion affect their capacity of judgment. In particular, at the beginning of each board or committee meeting, the board members declare whether they have any conflict of interests regarding the items on the agenda. Each board member is, in particular, attentive to conflicts of interests that may arise between the Company, its board members, its significant or majority shareholder(s) and other shareholders.
In the possible case of a conflict of interest of a financial nature falling within the meaning of article 7:96 of the Belgian Code of Companies and Associations, the relevant director shall take no part in any deliberations or voting related thereto. Any abstention from voting as a result of a conflict of interest will be disclosed in accordance with the relevant legal provisions. If the conflict does not fall within the scope of article 7:96 of the Belgian Code of Companies and Associations, the board of directors will decide, under the lead of its chairman, which procedure it will follow to protect the interests of the Company and all its shareholders. In the next annual report, the board of directors will explain why this procedure was chosen. In the event of a substantial conflict of interests, the board of directors will consider communicating as soon as possible on the procedure followed, the most important considerations and the conclusions. In 2020, article 7:96 (previously article 523) of the Belgian Code of Companies and Associations has been applied twice.
The members of the board further look after the interests of all shareholders on an equivalent basis and are required to act according to the principles of reasonableness and fairness. Considering that the majority of Telenet shares are held by the Liberty Global Group, the board of directors makes considered use of its position and takes special care to prevent conflicts of interests and to respect the rights and interests of minority shareholders. Any proposed related party transaction or arrangement falling within the scope of article 7:97 of the Belgian Code of Companies and Associations shall be submitted to a committee of three independent directors in accordance with such article and shall only be entered into after review by the committee of independent directors provided in article 7:97 of the Belgian Code of Companies and Associations.