Back in January of this year, it was announced that Keuring Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group would merge. You can read about the announcement and the history of the two companies in the blog that we wrote at the time.

Now that the merger is complete, shareholders of Dr Pepper Snapple will have shares in a new company: Dr Pepper Snapple stopped trading on 9 July 2018 and the new shares in Keurig Dr Pepper (NYSE: KDP) started trading on 10 July 2018. New shares were issued on a 1:1 basis for the old shares.

In accordance with the announcement, shareholders of Dr Pepper Snapple are also to receive a special cash dividend of $103.75 per share under the terms of the merger agreement. The special dividend was payable on 10 July 2018 for all shareholders of record on July 6 (ex-div July 5).

Those who reside in the UK who were shareholders of Dr Pepper Snapple should soon be receiving the special dividend together with confirmation of the new shares that they hold in Keurig Dr Pepper.

Unless a valid W-8BEN was registered and active on the shareholding account, most international shareholders will find that the special cash dividend will have withholding tax deducted.

Unfortunately, this is something that we frequently see on estates where the executors have not been able to finalise the death registration on a holding prior to a merger completing or did not file a valid W-8BEN form with the papers that they sent.  Regardless of any merger action, executors can find that dividends or sale proceeds on US shareholdings can be subject to withholding tax of up to 30% if a valid W-8BEN form is not included as part of the death registration process or if one is completed incorrectly.

Should you be attending to an estate where the deceased held Dr Pepper Snapple shares and you require assistance with the death registration process or you merely need to obtain a medallion signature guarantee on death registration papers that you have completed, please get in touch with the International Private Client team at Lester Aldridge who would be happy to discuss how we may be able to assist you.