Experiments

The debate continues

In the final hours before the vote on the Preventive Restructuring Framework, the debate continues in full force. Two blog posts have been posted, urging the legislators to carefully reflect upon the proposed text.

The first post is written by prof. dr. M. Brinkmann (“Die relative Vorrangregel aus Art. 11 (1) (c) der Insolvenzrichtlinie: nicht nur untauglich, sondern brandgefährlich!”) and can be consulted here.

The second post (“Puzzling priorities: harmonisation of European Preventive Restructuring Frameworks”) is written by Anne Mennens and can be consulted here.

Who says insolvency law cannot be thrilling?

 

 

 

The Debate on the Preventive Restructuring Directive continues while the vote is near

The message of the post last week on this blog by Professor R.J. de Weijs, A.L. Jonkers and M. Malakotipour of the University of Amsterdam has been replicated by the authors in a Letter to the EP, with a supporting letter by Professor Douglas Baird of The University of Chicago.

Professor Bob Wessels of Leiden has replied to their arguments on his blog.

The draft Directive is up for vote on  27 March 2019.

The underestimated role of tax law in promoting asset partitioning ánd discouraging selective de-partitioning

Asset partitioning refers to limited liability (or: owner shielding) and entity shielding. In both cases a pool of assets is allocated to a pool of liabilities.

The economic justifications of limited liability and entity shielding typically refer – sometimes implicitly – to the situation of many shareholders in a business. Hansmann and Squire refer to this type of asset partitioning as external asset partitioning (“External and Internal Asset Partitioning: Corporations and Their Subsidiaries, The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance (Forthcoming)”; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 535, 2.). Asset partitioning is also used within a business to make separate pools of assets and liabilities; this is internal asset partitioning (ibid.). A typical example is a corporate group, where the business as an economic unity is internally, through affiliates, divided in separate pools of assets.  We also consider a company owned (or primarily owned) by a single shareholder as internal asset partitioning, even if that shareholder is a physical person. The economic unity between the single shareholder and the business of her company is similar to, if not stronger than, that between the separate entities of a corporate group.

Asset partitioning builds walls between pools of assets and liabilities. Sometimes the insiders themselves disregard the asset partitioning which they have set up themselves. This is referred to as selective de-partitioning. A crude example is the single shareholder or the parent company extracting assets from its company or subsidiary or shifting liabilities towards it. A more sophisticated example is a guarantee of one entity of a group towards another entity of the group. Often legal rules provide the creditors of the shareholders of a company with remedies against selective de-partitioning. In such a case the law reinforces the walls of asset partitioning.

We will use Belgian law as an example of how an entity-focussed tax law can favour asset partitioning and discourage selective de-partitioning. Continue reading “The underestimated role of tax law in promoting asset partitioning ánd discouraging selective de-partitioning”

The CJEU Vantaan kaupunki case: piercing the corporate veil via private enforcement of EU competition law

A post by Jasper Van Eetvelde & Michiel Verhulst

The CJEU judgement on the 14th of March 2019 in the Vantaan kaupunki case shows the increasing spillover effects of the public enforcement of competition law on the private enforcement thereof. The CJEU found that the concept of ‘undertaking’ as autonomously interpreted in competition law is applicable when claiming for damages on the basis of breaches of EU competition law. This has far-reaching consequences, since it implies that both the principles of parental liability and economic continuity are henceforth part of the national rules on the private enforcement of EU competition law. This triggers some reflections on corporate law on voluntary winding-up in general and the usefulness of focussing on the economic reality outside competition law. Continue reading “The CJEU Vantaan kaupunki case: piercing the corporate veil via private enforcement of EU competition law”

A reply to professor Madaus “The new European Relative Priority from the Preventive Restructuring Directive – The end of European Insolvency Law?”

A post by guest bloggers prof. dr. R.J. de Weijs, A.L. Jonkers LLM and M. Malakotipour LLB (University Amsterdam)

On March 26, 2019 the European Parliament will vote on the Preventive Restructuring Framework.

The initial draft Directive from 2016 contained a rule providing the basic protection that shareholders of a financially distressed and reorganized company could not hold on to any value unless the creditors by majority vote consented thereto. Such a rule is in force in US and German law and is referred to as an Absolute Priority Rule (‘APR’). The US has been an important source of inspiration for implementing such a far-reaching reorganization procedure. The Absolute Priority Rule is generally considered to be one of the most important rules of US bankruptcy law, see recently the US Supreme Court in the famous Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp case, calling the APR “quite appropriately, bankruptcy’s most important and famous rule” and “the cornerstone of reorganization practice and theory.”[1]

Without much in-depth analyses or debate, the European Union is about to embark on a wild adventure. It seeks to implement the US reorganization culture, without however the most basic rule of protection. Continue reading “A reply to professor Madaus “The new European Relative Priority from the Preventive Restructuring Directive – The end of European Insolvency Law?””

Uitsluiting en uittreding na faillissement: de aandeelhouder op een zinkend schip ?

Post door gastblogger Robin Olivier Karpiel (student UA)

De procedure tot uitsluiting en uittreding is een populaire manier om geschillen tussen aandeelhouders van een BVBA of een NV te regelen. Conflicten worden zo binnen de vennootschap bij de wortel aangepakt. De uitsluiting (“u moet uw aandelen aan mij verkopen”) en uittreding (“u moet aandelen van mij kopen”) kunnen dankzij de overdracht van aandelen meteen ook de oorsprong van het geschil doen verdwijnen.

In tijden van dreigende insolventie kunnen wortels van conflicten echter zeer diep groeien. Eenmaal geschillen uitvoerig worden uitgespit, kan het voor de vennootschap zelf al te laat zijn en klopt het faillissement mogelijks aan de deur.

Maar wat indien een procedure tot uitsluiting of uittreding op dat moment al is ingesteld? Dient de aandeelhouder, als een kapitein op een zinkend schip, steeds als laatste aan boord van de onderneming te blijven? Of vormt de geschillenregeling de ideale reddingsboei ten tijde van financiële moeilijkheden? Deze en gerelateerde vragen komen aan bod in deze bijdrage.

Daarbij zal niet worden nagelaten om enkele relevante wijzigingen van het (recent goedgekeurde) WVV mee te nemen. Continue reading “Uitsluiting en uittreding na faillissement: de aandeelhouder op een zinkend schip ?”

TPR Wisselleerstoel aan de Universiteit Leiden over vermogenssplitsing ~ Prof. Dr. J. Vananroye (KU Leuven)

maandag 1 april 2019 om 16.00 uur, het Kleine Auditorium van het Academiegebouw (Rapenbrug 73, Leiden)

In het kader van de TPR-wisselleerstoel 2019 aan de Universiteit Leiden, houdt professor Joeri Vananroye op maandag 1 april 2019 om 16.00 uur zijn oratie met als titel:

Over de schutting:
de ongelijke waardering van vermogenssplitsing
in het burgerlijk en het ondernemingsrecht

De plechtigheid vindt plaats in het Kleine Auditorium van het Academiegebouw (Rapenbrug 73, 2311 GJ Leiden, Nederland). Vananroye doceert aan de KU Leuven ondernemingsrecht en economische analyse van het recht.

*  *  * Continue reading “TPR Wisselleerstoel aan de Universiteit Leiden over vermogenssplitsing ~ Prof. Dr. J. Vananroye (KU Leuven)”