The shares in Nordzucker AG are held in the name of the relevant shareholders (registered shares). They are not traded on the stock market but are now freely tradeable after the cancellation of the limitations on transferability in 2005. Around 95 per cent of the shares are held by the three holding companies: Nordzucker Holding AG, Union Zucker Südhannover GmbH and Nordharzer Zucker AG. The shares in the holding companies are in free float. Our shareholders are usually farmers which grow sugar beet. The sugar industry in north Germany has undergone a continuous concentration process for many decades. After numerous smaller mergers, Nordzucker was established in 1996. The holding structure still reflects the historical establishment of the various companies. Nordzucker Holding AG plays a special role as the largest shareholder in Nordzucker AG.