ДОЛЯ, ДОЛЯ АКЦИЙ, ПАКЕТ АКЦИЙ
Stake, Equity Stake, Participation, Shareholding, Holding, Interest, Equity Interest, Block of Shares, Participatory Interest; “Packet of Shares”
Dolya is not an easy word to translate, as it wears so many hats and has so many facets.
To begin with, apart from the strictly corporate context of “доля в ООО” (a member’s share / equity stake in an LLC), “общая долевая собственность” (tenancy in common / common tenancy / common ownership in which the respective owners’ shares are clearly defined) or “обязательная доля в наследстве” (compulsory share of the estate), this Russian word is not always used as a (legal) term of art.
Prima facie, it simply means “a part of”, or “a share in / of”.
In purely legal contexts, the word “dolya” may be alternately used to denote:
– a) an equity stake in a company / a share (of stock) in the company’s capital — in which case it translates simply as “(equity) stake”, “participation”, “shareholding”, “(equity) interest” or “block of shares” (all of the above being pretty much synonymous).
Russians also often like to use the term «пакет (акций)» (literally, a “packet of shares”) to the same effect.
– b) a part / section / component / percentage / portion / proportion of something larger (of a property, of an equity stake, of a block of shares, of company’s share capital, etc). For instance, “dolya paketa” or “dolya aktsiy” is simply a “part of a block of shares” or “portion / proportion / percentage of a shareholding”.
All that is left for us to do is use our informed judgment in each particular instance to try and identify the specific corporate sense that dolya is used in.
Let me add in passing that Russian drafters are also prone to using the word chast’ (literally, “part”) to much the same effect.
Again, since it is not a term of art, we can translate it as “part of (a block of shares, etc…)”, or “a portion of…”.
Sometimes, even “percentage” will do the trick.
It is crucial to bear in mind, however, that the English term “share” must be translated into Russian in different ways depending on the legal form of the entity in which that share is held.
No one single Russian term can be applied across the board.
For instance, a share in an “AO”, i.e. a Russian company limited by shares (preferred E&W term) / stock corporation (preferred US term) is “акция” in Russian (incidentally, the Russian acronym “AO” is traditionally translated as “joint-stock company”.)
A share in a limited liability company is “доля” (sometimes translated as “participatory interest”, but only when describing a Russian LLC).
A share in a cooperative is a “пай”.
However, translated back into English, all of the above are still “shares”.
Very often, it is more a legal matter than a question of linguistics.