Does the spouse of the seller of shares have to consent to the planned transaction?

Does the spouse of the seller of shares have to consent to the planned transaction?

If the seller of the shares is a natural person who is married, the question arises whether he/she can negotiate and sign the transfer agreement on his/her own, or needs to inform his/her spouse of the planned transaction and obtain the spouse’s consent to achieve a legally valid purchase/sale of shares. Both in the hypothesis that it concerns shares that, pursuant to the matrimonial property law, belong to the personal property of the seller (for instance, shares that the seller has acquired with his own money or through inheritance or donation), as well as in the hypothesis that it concerns…


Read more
Read Article →
Conditions for validity of non-competition clauses in share purchase agreements and mitigation power of the court

Conditions for validity of non-competition clauses in share purchase agreements and mitigation power of the court

As set out in a former blog article (“Non-competition clause in acquisition agreements: a necessity?” – Matthias Jans, 14 April 2016 – see link), the buyer of shares who wants to prevent that the seller conducts competing activities after the transfer, must explicitly include a non-competition clause in the share purchase agreement. Pursuant to the French d’Allarde Decree of 1791, the freedom of trade and industry prevails. This principle is now included in Book II of the Code of Economic law, Title 3 (Freedom of enterprise). As a non-competition clause restricts this freedom, the parties have to consider a certain…


Read more
Read Article →
Update: reply to parliamentary question about the opt-in: the EGM having decided to opt-in, can immediately take other decisions applying the CAC

Update: reply to parliamentary question about the opt-in: the EGM having decided to opt-in, can immediately take other decisions applying the CAC

In a former blog article, we pointed out the practical implications of the fact that the legislator, quite unfortunately, has linked the entry into force of the opt-in to the publication of such decision in the annexes of the Belgian Official Gazette and not to the actual time of the decision itself. In our opinion, it was not possible, after the ‘opt-in’ decision, to take other decisions by already applying the new CAC, and include them all in the same deed. We considered that the decisions other than the one related to the opt-in could only be taken applying the…


Read more
Read Article →
Update: tolerance period until 31 December 2019 for the mandatory registration of the ultimate beneficial owner(s) of enterprises

Update: tolerance period until 31 December 2019 for the mandatory registration of the ultimate beneficial owner(s) of enterprises

In our blog post of 21 December 2018, updated by our blog post of 2 April 2019, we informed you about the legally required transparency as to the ultimate beneficial owners of enterprises, by means of registration in the so-called UBO-register. According to the royal Decree of 30 July 2018, the information concerning the ultimate beneficial owners of the enterprise had to be registered for the first time at the latest on 30 November 2018. The FPS Finance however allowed to postpone the registration until 30 September 2019. Meanwhile, the FPS Finance announced a tolerance period until 31 December 2019….


Read more
Read Article →
Conflicts of interest under the new CAC - new rules, new questions and points of attention

Conflicts of interest under the new CAC – new rules, new questions and points of attention

The regulation set out in the Companies Code (CC) to manage conflicts of interest in cases of directors having conflicting proprietary interests is complicated, since it depends on the situation. Just think about the appointment of an ad hoc trustee in private limited companies (‘BVBA’ / ‘SPRL’) having no collegial board; the duty to abstain imposed on directors of listed public limited companies (‘genoteerde NV’ / ‘SA noteé’) which does not apply on directors of unlisted companies; the lack of statutory regulation for directors of non-profit organizations (‘VZW’ / ‘ASBL’) – the list goes on. The legislator has taken the…


Read more
Read Article →
Transfer of shares not fully paid up: can the transferor be held liable for calls made for the unpaid portion?

Transfer of shares not fully paid up: can the transferor be held liable for calls made for the unpaid portion?

Shares that were not fully paid up at the time of issue can of course be transferred. But who is held liable for calls on these shares: the transferor or the transferee? The (old) Belgian Company Code included complex regulations for public limited companies (‘NV’ / ‘SA’): both the transferor and the transferee could be held liable up to the amount of the unpaid portion for the payment of company debts incurred before the transfer became effective, i.e. before registration in the share register if the claim is made by the company, or before publication of the list of shareholders…


Read more
Read Article →
Opt-in only becomes applicable after publication of the amendment to the articles of association - practical implications

Opt-in only becomes applicable after publication of the amendment to the articles of association – practical implications

The new Companies and Associations Code (CAC) entered into force on 1 May 2019. This implies that newly incorporated companies whose deed of incorporation has been deposited at the registry on or after 1 May 2019, will be governed by the new CAC. For existing companies, a transition period is provided for until 1 January 2020. Until that date, they will still be governed by the former Companies Code. From 1 January 2020, the mandatory provisions of the CAC (including the additional provisions unless derogated from in the articles of association) will become applicable. The legislator enables existing companies however…


Read more
Read Article →
Conversion of an abolished legal form: when and with or without application of the conversion procedure?

Conversion of an abolished legal form: when and with or without application of the conversion procedure?

The Company and Associations Code (CAC) reduces the number of legal forms and abolishes many of the currently existing legal forms. Within the category of companies without legal personality, the ‘tijdelijke handelsvennootschap’ (’société momentanée’) and the ‘stille handelsvennootschap’ (’société interne’) both disappear. Indeed, the same objective can be achieved through the form of the ‘maatschap’ (’société simple’), whether by setting up a ‘tijdelijke maatschap’ (’société simple momentanée’) for a limited period of time or a specific project, or a ‘stille maatschap’ (’société simple interne’) led by a manager who is acting in his own name. Within the category of companies…


Read more
Read Article →
Opposability of statutory or conventional transfer restrictions

Opposability of statutory or conventional transfer restrictions

A shareholder sells his shares to a third party without having given to the other shareholders priority to acquire these shares pursuant to the right of first refusal included in the articles of association. Is this transfer to a third party valid? Or is it possible to oppose the transfer restriction to the third party-buyer? The Code for Companies and Associations stipulates that transfer restrictions included in the articles of association (such as right of first refusal, standstill provisions, tag along, clause of approval, etc.) are always opposable to third parties. The new Code thus confirms the majority opinion in…


Read more
Read Article →
Mandatory recording of transfer restrictions in the share register

Mandatory recording of transfer restrictions in the share register

  The Code for Companies and Associations includes the obligation to record the transfer restrictions arising out of the articles of association in the share register. This obligation must be complied with by the company’s governing body. It aims at informing the third party-transferees as fully as possible of the existing transfer restrictions. As the transfer of nominal shares only becomes opposable to the company and third parties after having been recorded in the share register, it is to be expected that third party-transferees will always consult the share register, at the latest when recording their transfer. Transfer restrictions which…


Read more
Read Article →