That would mean one person or a few steering the company rather than the project funders. I suppose it could work if there were clear rules or principles set out in the funding of the project, including whether the money is ever returned to the funders.
So even if everyone provided £20 each, and 51% of those shares were available (I’m sure their price would rocket on the back of the project being announced) the project would need 22 million people funding it.
I’m not sure buying stock in a company is quite the same as lying in the road stopping traffic, this is more about getting the company to act in the interest of their customers (without petitions and lengthy government interventions). It would be far from fall proof as it would basically be done via open letters to the board of the company, and through establishing some principles at the start of the fund raising project.
The open letter format is fairly common with big investors who want to publically shame the company they’re invested in, to influence the share price too. “We believe Go-Ahead should be doing xyz”.
Sadly Go-Ahead is dividend stock so this technique wouldn’t be quite as effective.
Not that it’s a financially viable idea anyway, as I said.
This idea isn’t new by the way, it’s based in the idea that your staff and customers are the major stakeholders, not the shareholders, and comes under ethical investing now I think, and in the world of angel investing is known as Zebra startups. Gi-Ahead won’t ever change to the stakeholder model so owning their stock would be the next best thing.
Maybe Bill Gates could help us sad London commuters out?! I’m sure non Londoners will have zero sympathy for this either.
If you don’t know the background of these train companies - GoAhead makes hundreds of millions in profit each year on what is essentially a monopoly in London, with very little reinvestment of the money into their services, doing the bare minimum. There’s 1000s of tweets and forum posts to demonstrate this, I think there was a Thameslink petition a year ago with 100k signatures. Luckily I don’t have to travel with them every day but it will be effecting the mental health of the people who do.
TFL owning and running the train companies would probably solve the issues.