Corporate Actions
Corporate Actions mymoneybooks


A corporate action (CorpActions) is an action initiated by a public company that brings an actual change to the securities issued in the share market by the company for the betterment of the operations of the company. Corporate actions are generally taken place after the agreement between the shareholder and the board of directors of the company.

The major different types of corporate actions are mergers and acquisitions, stock splits, dividends payout, rights issues, and spin-offs. The primary impact of the corporate action by a company is for the Shareholders or Creditors. As the corporate actions have an impact on the shareholders, to initiate it, needs to get approved by the board of directors and get authorized by its shareholders of the company. Corporate actions mostly will mention in the yearly business plan of the companies.

The Price of the equities of the company will directly be affected by the corporate action. A Corporate action by a company will be either mandatory or voluntary. A Mandatory corporate action by a company is automatically applied to the investors involved, however, voluntary corporate action requires an investor’s response to executing.

Types of Corporate actions

The corporate actions are divided into three types on the basis of their execution mode:

  • Mandatory.
  • Voluntary.
  • Mandatory with the choice.

Mandatory corporate action:

A mandatory corporate action is initiated by the board of directors and Participation from shareholders is mandatory for these corporate actions. The shareholder is not required to do anything for these corporate actions only needs to accept it as a passive beneficiary.

An example of a mandatory corporate action is cash dividend, stock splits, etc, for the stocks in the Demat account.

Voluntary corporate action:

For voluntary corporate action, shareholders need to elect to participate in the action. On the basis of the election response from the shareholders, the corporate will process the action. The shareholder has a choice of participation or not to participate in this type of corporate action. The corporate can proceed only with the shareholders who are ready to participate in corporate actions.

An example is a tender offer. First, it will inform all the shareholders and put for election from shareholders and companies will send the proceeds only to the shareholders who elect to participate in it.

Mandatory with choice corporate action:

Mandatory with choice corporate action offers a chance to shareholders to choose among several options given to the shareholders. The choice will be with one option as default, hence if the shareholder does not submit the opinion, the default option will be applied to that shareholder. Shareholders have the complete right to participate or not to participate in the election.

An example is a stock or cash for dividend payout, in it, one option as default, hence if shareholder selected one, they will get it, if not, the default option will credit to them.

What is the record date incorporate action?

The record date is the cut-off date for the shareholders to entitled to the corporate dividend. The shareholders who purchase the stock after the cut-off date will not be eligible to get the corporate dividend. The record date usually will be the trading day following the ex-dividend date of the corporate action.

Different Corporate actions:

All of the corporate actions are major decisions by a company that needs to be approved by the directors and authorized by shareholders. The prime corporate actions are as below.

  • Stock splits
  • Dividends
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Rights issues
  • Spin-offs
  • Tender offer

Stock Splits

Through stock split, a company divides its existing shares into multiple shares in a particular ratio. Companies choose to split shares to lower the current trading price of their shares, as more shares are liquidated into the market, the price will lower and it will help more investors to attract into the investment in that particular share, which in turn lead to an increase the price of the shares.

  • If a share that an investor holds gone through the stock split, the number of shares increased in the ratio of the split, and the value of the share reduced the corresponding ratio of split.
  • The total asset won’t change and the money invested won’t disappear due to the split.
  • For a 1:2 stock split, one share of a company splits into two shares and the value of the share is reduced by half. Later the value of the share starts increasing as more investors start to purchase the share as the split is considered as a positive sign.


A cash dividend is a common corporate action to distribute the company’s profit earnings to its shareholders. To provide the cash dividend to shareholders, the board of directors of the company needs to approve. A dividend is paid to shareholders on the basis of the per outstanding shareholding of investors in their Demat account. Dividends can be paid yearly or half-yearly as per the companies decision directly into the bank account.

  • The dividend earned is corresponding to the number of shares an investor owns in the company.
  • In general, dividends are declared in the percentage of the face value of the shares. Investors are attracted to buy more shares of the companies that provide a higher percentage of dividends.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is an important corporate action by the companies that bring a material change in its operation.

  • During the merger, two or more companies merge to form a new company and the share of the old company will be maintained as the share of the new company. The share price will vary on the basis of the percentage of the merger contract between the companies.
  • An acquisition is a process of takes over a company by another company. In an acquisition, the stocks of the acquired company cease to trade in the trading account, and the acquirers stock continues to trade in the market. Stockholders of the acquired company get the corresponding ratio of the acquirer’s stock.

Rights Issues:

A rights issue is an invitation by a company to sell its additional new shares to the existing shareholders. Through the rights issue company provide priority to current shareholders instead of going to the public. The company provides the right to subscribe to the newly issued shares in proportion of existing holdings to the shareholders.

  • By declaring the rights issue, the company offers rights to the existing shareholders that give them an opportunity to buy additional new shares of the company.
  • A company implementing rights issues to the existing shareholders the right to receive or purchase the shares before they are offered to the public.
  • A rights issue regularly offered a chance to take advantage of promising new development in the company.

Investors can participate in the right issue by log in to the online trading account of the broker and select the rights option in the portal. If investors don’t want to participate in the rights issue, they can sell the rights entitlement on the stock exchange like any other equity.


A corporate spin-off action is also known as a spin-out. A Spin-off is a type of corporate action where a public company separates a portion of its business and creates a second independent business unit, and the company’s remaining business will continue as it is. Through spin-off, shares of the new company are distributed as a tax-free share to the existing shareholders of the parent company.

  • A spin-off is the creation of an independent company through the sale or distribution of a division of a parent company.
  • After the spin-off, new companies work as independent entity than as parts of the parent larger business.
  • In general, new shares created through spin-off will be distributed to existing shareholders as a rights issue before offered to the public.
  • A spin-off indicates a company is going to take a new challenge and refocusing the main business activities.

Tender offer:

A tender offer is a bid-offer by the corporation to purchase all or the portion of the shareholders’ stock at a specified price. Tender offers are made publicly by the corporate and invite shareholders to sell their holdings to them within a particular window of time at a specified price.

  • It will be the choice of the shareholders to sell the holdings to the corporation.
  • Usually, the price specified by the corporation will be higher than the current market price.

What is the difference between the ex-date and the Record date?

The record date is the day on which the shareholders are evaluated to determine the eligibility for the dividend as per the company records. An investor will be eligible for a dividend payout if they hold the shares on that particular day. The ex-date is the previous trading day of the record date.

What is the difference between mandatory and voluntary corporate actions?

A mandatory corporate action is initiated by the board of directors of the company and shareholders affected it as beneficiaries. The voluntary corporate action occurs only when shareholders elect to participate in it.

How do corporate actions affect the share market?

After the corporate action, the share price falls in the same proportion as the ratio of the bonus issue. As the fresh shares are issued to the shareholders by a company, there will not be any change in the overall holding value of the existing shareholders. The stock price gets diluted and likely goes down when a rights issue is offered as more shares issued into the market. During the buyback offer, the share price improves as the confidence of investors is increased and more investors start to buy.

Are corporate actions taxable?

The corporate actions are not taxable but the gain on the shareholdings of shareholders which they got by the corporate action is taxable. I.e. the Gain during the sale of a security is taxable, but Not for the Loss. This means that shareholders are taxed on the gain which they got due to the corporate action.


The companies use the corporate actions mainly for the distribution of the profit or to influence the current market price. The cash dividends are a classic example of dividend distribution by the company to the outstanding shareholders. If the current market price of a stock is too high, companies declare the bonus shares or split to reduce the price in the ratio of the corporate action.

For the newbie investors, it is essential to understand the above basic corporate actions as it is directly influencing the market price of the shares which they are holding. In general, all the corporate actions are positive signs from the company side, hence it is ideal to invest in the shares for the companies to declare a corporate action. Early investors get the advantage of the corporate actions if they are holding the shares at the time of the record date of the corporate action.

Thanks & Regards



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Harry J P is a Business development and sales professional passionate about sharing knowledge in the domain of sales, and personal finance which helps in Personal financial learning for newbie earners. This blog came out of the experiences in the domain of personal finance, business development, and the share market.

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