Beslag op aandelen in het Belgisch recht

A post by guest blogger Bram Van Baelen

In een eerdere post werd uitgelegd dat een adequate beslagprocedure op aandelen in een vennootschap een belangrijke rol speelt bij de bescherming van de persoonlijke schuldeisers van aandeelhouders. Twee zakenrechtelijke kenmerken van het organisatierecht, capital lock-in en entity shielding verminderen de globale liquiditeit van het persoonlijke vermogen van een aandeelhouder. De daling van liquiditeit kan negatieve gevolgen hebben op de positie van de persoonlijke schuldeisers van aandeelhouders. Rechtseconomisch gezien beperkt een effectieve beslagprocedure de kans dat (malafide) aandeelhouders de positie van hun persoonlijke schuldeisers benadelen.

Dit blogbericht werpt een eerste blik op de organisatie van de beslagprocedure in het Belgisch recht. Het aanzicht toont een weinig fraai beeld: Continue reading “Beslag op aandelen in het Belgisch recht”

European Insolvency Law (update)

As of tomorrow, 26 June 2017, European cross-border insolvency proceedings will be governed by the Recast Regulation on Insolvency 2015/848, which was published by the European Parliament and Council on 20 May 2015. Regulation 1346/2000 shall continue to apply to insolvency proceedings which fall within the scope of that Regulation and which have been opened before 26 June 2017.

Continue reading “European Insolvency Law (update)”

The ECJ in “Estro/Smallstep” on the Dutch pre-pack in relation to article 5(1) of Directive 2001/23

A red flag for the pre-pack as we know it?

In its preliminary ruling of today, the ECJ has decided that the Dutch pre-pack does not come under the derogation in Article 5(1) of Directive 2001/23. The reasoning of the ECJ will have important consequences for the pre-pack-practice and (draft) legislation in all European Member States, including Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Background: Project Butterfly

In November 2013, Estro Groep BV (with 380 establishments and 3.600 employees the largest childcare company in the Netherlands) entered into financial distress. Since plan A, i.e. consulting its lenders and principal shareholders in order to obtain further financing, was unsuccessful, “Project Butterfly” came into force. Under Project Butterfly, a significant part of Estro Group would be transferred pursuant to a pre-pack: 243 centers out of 380 would be saved and 2.500 employees out of 3.600 would keep their job. Continue reading “The ECJ in “Estro/Smallstep” on the Dutch pre-pack in relation to article 5(1) of Directive 2001/23”

€1,2 billion settlement in Fortis case rejected by Dutch Court

On 16 June 2017, the Court of Amsterdam refused to approve the settlement reached in a Dutch mass claims procedure between Ageas (Fortis’ legal successor) and four claimant organisations (VEB, Deminor, SICAF and Stichting FortisEffect) concerning allegedly false or misleading statements by Fortis during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. The €1,2 billion settlement was the largest of its kind in Europe. The main rationale for the court’s decision? The court held that the distinction in compensation between “Active Claimants” (those who filed a legal procedure or registered with any of the claimant organisations) and “Non-Active Claimants” (those who didn’t) was unjustified and that the fees for claimant organisations were exorbitant.

This means that Ageas and the claimant organisations will have to renegotiate their settlement agreement and address the concerns of the Court, if they want to have an agreement that is binding on all potential claimants. Continue reading “€1,2 billion settlement in Fortis case rejected by Dutch Court”

Het einde van de slapende vennootschappen

Publicatie van Wet van 17 mei 2017 tot wijziging van diverse wetten met het oog op de aanvulling van de gerechtelijke ontbindingsprocedure van vennootschappen

De wetswijziging van 17 mei 2017, die maandag werd gepubliceerd in het Belgisch Staatsblad,[1] luidt het einde in van de zgn. ‘slapende vennootschappen’. De wetgever wijzigt hiermee de gerechtelijke ontbindingsprocedure vervat in art. 182 W.Venn. krachtens dewelke vennootschappen die gedurende drie opeenvolgende jaren geen jaarrekening hebben neergelegd gerechtelijk kunnen worden ontbonden. Continue reading “Het einde van de slapende vennootschappen”

In “Vinyls”, ECJ Allows Debtor to Contract Around Insolvency Avoidance Rules: A Shield Turns Into a Weapon

ECJ endorses broad interpretation of Article 13 Insolvency Regulation

A debtor on the verge of insolvency may be tempted to favour related or influential parties (such as company insiders or important financiers) before his divestment in favour of a liquidator. That is why insolvency law typically allows the liquidator to avoid transactions which the debtor has concluded in the twilight zone prior to insolvency and which are detrimental to the creditors. In a recent preliminary ruling (Vinyls Italia, C-54/16), the ECJ offers the debtor an interesting escape route: he can simply contract around an avoidance provision by submitting an otherwise voidable transaction to a law under which the transaction is not avoidable.

Continue reading “In “Vinyls”, ECJ Allows Debtor to Contract Around Insolvency Avoidance Rules: A Shield Turns Into a Weapon”

More on Polbud

Does ‘Cartesio’ meet the ‘real seat’?

In a previous post (in Dutch) Gillis Lindemans discussed the opinion of AG Kokott in the Polbud-case arguing that this opinion, if followed by the Court, would add a pinch of “real seat” to theEU case-law on corporate mobility. More interesting thoughts on Polbud are to be found on the blog of Professor Geert Van Calster. Money quote:

“Ms Kokott suggests the Opinion is a simple confirmation of the CJEU’s case-law on the issue: no change of tack. Simply confirmation ex multi. That now does leave me puzzled: the Opinion walks and talks like confirming old precedent; but it does not, surely?”