Convertible bonds usually have no voting rights until they are converted. Even after conversion, they may not be granted voting rights.

A convertible bond is a form of debt that features an embedded stock option allowing the convertible bondholder to convert his/her bond into a predetermined number of shares in the issuing company at some future date. There are many different kinds of convertible bonds, each with its own conversion features. Usually, convertible bonds are converted when the convertible bondholder chooses to do so - that is, the bondholder has the right, but not the obligation, to convert the bond on or before a set date. The terms of the bond's indenture detail the specific conversion clauses, such as how many and what kind of shares the bonds convert into.

In most cases, convertible bonds convert to shares of common stock, which usually have voting rights, but not always. Common stock is sometimes divided into different classes; when it's divided into two classes, it's known as dual class stock. Typically, each class will have its own voting rights, and the voting rights of one class will be less effective than the votes of the other class (or classes) when votes are made.

For example, let's say you have convertible bonds of XYZ Computer Corp. that convert to 100 shares of Class A common stock, but it's the Class B common stock that controls 100% of the voting rights for the corporation (in this example). Class A common stock has no voting rights, which means that even after the convertible bonds are converted, you still don't have the right to vote on those issues that must be brought to shareholders for a vote according to the company's charter.

The list of different voting rights assigned to different classes of shares is endless. Another example of voting rights that give unequal voting power to different classes of shareholders are those that award a higher number of votes to shareholders that own one class of shares than to shareholders owning another class.

For more information on convertible bonds, see Convertible Bonds: An Introduction. For more on voting rights, check out The Two Sides of Dual-Class Shares.

  1. What is the difference between convertible and reverse convertible bonds?

    The difference between a regular convertible bond and a reverse convertible bond is the options attached to the bond. While ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are 'death spiral' convertible bonds?

    Conventional convertible bonds give the bondholder the right to exchange the bond for a certain amount of the issuer's common ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    Discover how corporations issue convertible bonds to take advantage of much lower interest rates as a result of a conversion ... Read Answer >>
  4. How is convertible bond valuation different than traditional bond valuation?

    Read about bond valuation, particularly the differences between how a traditional bond is valued and how a convertible bond ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between Class A shares and other common shares of company's ...

    Discover how a company can break down its common stock into multiple classes and how these classes differ from one another ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Why Include Convertible Securities in Your Portfolio

    What are convertible securities and why you should include them in your portfolio.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Worried About Stocks? Try on Convertibles

    Convertibles are a good hedge against equity market risk (if you're o.k. with losing a bit of upside potential).
  3. Managing Wealth

    What You Should Know About Convertible Bonds

    As investors continue to seek yield in the current market, it's now a good time to bring up an often overlooked asset class—the convertible bond.
  4. Investing

    The Top 6 Convertible Bond Funds for 2016

    Take a look at convertible bond mutual funds that are well-positioned heading into 2016, and why investors might consider a convertible fund portfolio.
  5. Investing

    Leverage Your Returns With A Convertible Hedge

    Find out how you can maintain your income stream by using this type of bond strategy.
  6. Investing

    The Wonders Of Convertible Bonds

    Ever wondered what exactly a convertible bond does? Read the features of a convertible bond and learn how important the conversion factor is to you as an investor.
  7. Investing

    Convertible Bonds

    A convertible bond is a bond the investor can exchange for a specific amount of company stock at a later date. It combines a bond and a call option. The bondholder can benefit if there's an increase ...
  8. Investing

    CWB: SPDR Barclays Convertible Secs ETF

    Read an in-depth analysis of the SPDR Barclays Capital Convertible Bond ETF, which tracks an index of high-growth potential convertible bonds.
  1. Convertible Bond

    A bond that can be converted into a predetermined amount of the ...
  2. Deferred Equity

    A type of security, such as preferred shares or convertible bonds, ...
  3. Premium Put Convertible

    A convertible bond with an additional put feature that allows ...
  4. Convertible Security

    An investment that can be changed into another form. The most ...
  5. Market Conversion Price

    An investor's effective cost to purchase common stock when it ...
  6. Conversion Parity Price

    The price paid for a share of stock purchased by exercising the ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Perkins Loan

    A loan program that provides low-interest student loans to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate exceptional ...
  2. Wealth Management

    A high-level professional service that combines financial/investment advice, accounting/tax services, retirement planning ...
  3. Assets Under Management - AUM

    The market value of assets that an investment company manages on behalf of investors. Assets under management (AUM) is looked ...
  4. Subprime Auto Loan

    A type of auto loan approved for people with substandard credit scores or limited credit histories. There is no official ...
  5. Racketeering

    A fraudulent service built to serve a problem that wouldn't otherwise exist without the influence of the enterprise offering ...
  6. Federal Debt

    The total amount of money that the United States federal government owes to creditors. The government's creditors include ...
Trading Center