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…


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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…


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Update: additional postponement of the mandatory transparency about the ultimate beneficial owner(s)

Update: additional postponement of the mandatory transparency about the ultimate beneficial owner(s)

In our blog post of 21 December 2018 we informed you about the new 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 entreprise had to be registered for the first time at the latest on 30 November 2018. After a first postponement of the deadline, until 31 March 2019, the FPS Finance announced that entreprises are allowed to postpone the registration until 30 September 2019.   This blog post has been…


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Mandatory transparency about the ultimate beneficial owner(s) of the enterprise

Mandatory transparency about the ultimate beneficial owner(s) of the enterprise

The new legally required transparency as to the ultimate beneficial owners of an enterprise is an important additional action point in the M&A practice after completion of an acquisition (“post-closing action”). What? Belgian Companies, (international) non-profit organisations, foundations, trusts and legal entities that are comparable to trusts, have the following new obligations under the Belgian “Law of 18 September 2017 on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing and on the restriction of the use of cash”: The Law adds to the Belgian Companies Code (Articles 14/1 and 14/2) and to the Belgian NPO and Foundations Law[1] (Articles 58/11…


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The new Belgian CAC also introduces a new governance model for public limited companies (‘NV’)

The new Belgian CAC also introduces a new governance model for public limited companies (‘NV’)

The draft of the new Companies and Associations Code (CAC) includes a new governance model for public limited companies (‘naamloze vennootschappen’, abbreviated into ‘NVs’). Henceforth, companies will have the choice between three governance models: the already existing monistic model; the sole director model; and the dualistic model consisting of a management board and a supervisory board. The new CAC also broadens the possibilities for appointing the managing director and defining his/her/its powers. Monistic governance model – weakening of the ad nutum withdrawal Publicly listed companies governed in accordance with the monistic model are managed by a traditional board comprising at…


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My resignation as director has not been published yet in the Belgian Official Gazette: can I still be held liable?

My resignation as director has not been published yet in the Belgian Official Gazette: can I still be held liable?

The acquisition of a company often implies that the transferor must resign from his office as (managing) director of the company/companies he is transferring. This resignation must be published in the Annexes of the Belgian Official Gazette, but this fact is sometimes overlooked by the company (under control of the buyer), which may lead to an important time gap between the resignation and its official publication. The bill on the new Companies and Associations Code provides an answer by allowing the former directors themselves to publish their resignation in the Annexes of the Belgian Official Gazette. Even if the company…


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What happens with contract clauses for the price-setting of shares in the context of forced sale proceedings?

What happens with contract clauses for the price-setting of shares in the context of forced sale proceedings?

The “geschillenregeling” (forced sale proceeding) is a special procedure in corporate law in which a shareholder can oblige another shareholder to sell shares (i.e. a put obligation) or purchase shares (i.e. a call obligation) if there are ‘justified reasons’. Although in practice this procedure is often used when a (serious) conflict between shareholders has arisen, there are some flaws in its practical application. Perhaps one of the greatest shortcomings is the setting of the price of the shares concerned, in particular the low predictive value of the valuation exercises that are normally carried out by a court expert under supervision…


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Claim notification periods under representations and warranties: don't just agree on them – also remember them and communicate them!

Claim notification periods under representations and warranties: don’t just agree on them – also remember them and communicate them!

An acquisition agreement often obligates the buyer of the shares to notify the sellers of any claims against the sellers arising from an infringement of the provided representations and warranties within a certain term (e.g. 2 months) after becoming aware of the fact causing the infringement. The reason behind this is that timely notification enables the sellers to take action to restrict the damage. A second purpose of imposing a term is to establish legal certainty between parties. Terms of 30 days, 2 months, etc., which at the time of the negotiations may have seemed long enough for the buyer,…


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Effects on the indemnification clause of applying a 'multiple' for share pricing

Effects on the indemnification clause of applying a ‘multiple’ for share pricing

In acquisition agreements, the value of a company is often based on a multiple of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) or another parameter. If, in retrospect, the communicated figures appear to paint an overstated picture of the company, the indemnification mechanism will usually provide for compensation at a rate of EUR 1 in damages for each euro in deviation of the communicated net equity (or another formula whereby the adapted price equals the established lesser value). However if the correction involves a parameter to which a multiple was applied for price determination purposes, then that same multiple…


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