Euroresource—Deals And Debt

Author:Ms Corinne Ball
Profession:Jones Day
 
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Recent Developments

Italy—Italian law decree No. 83 of 22 June 2012 (the "Decree") has introduced significant amendments to several provisions contained in the Italian Insolvency Act, governing, among others, the following major pre-insolvency restructuring proceedings: (a) the debt-restructuring agreement (accordo di ristrutturazione dei debiti) pursuant to Article 182-bis ("Art. 182-bis Agreement"); and (b) the arrangement with creditors (concordato preventivo) pursuant to Article 160 ("Arrangement with Creditors"). With respect to such restructuring proceedings, the Decree provides for the following main amendments: (i) faster, easier access to an Arrangement with Creditors that was reformed along the lines of the key principles underlying the chapter 11 process in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code; (ii) a new form of Arrangement with Creditors aimed at ensuring the continuity of an insolvent debtor as a going concern (concordato con continuità aziendale); (iii) enhanced protection of new financing granted in connection with restructuring proceedings; and (iv) certain amendments to provisions regulating the repayment of nonconsenting creditors under an Art. 182-bis Agreement. Italy—Amendments to legislation governing the Italian Antitrust Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, or "AGCM"), including expansion of the AGCM's powers, were recently introduced pursuant to Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's governmental "decree on liberalisation". The changes include: (i) merger-control thresholds that will apply cumulatively rather than alternatively; and (ii) replacement of the current mandatory merger-control filing fee with a mandatory fee of €0.08 (US$0.098) per thousand of a company's turnover (whether or not a merger transaction is actually registered) to all companies with turnovers exceeding €50 million. The changes grant AGCM additional powersto protect against unfair contractual provisions in business-to-consumer agreements, as well as unfair commercial practices impacting micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees and turnovers not exceeding €2 million. Other measures enacted as part of the decree affect class actions, which may now be commenced for the protection of collective interests (in addition to individual homogeneous consumer rights), and the jurisdiction of specialised intellectual property sections of the Italian courts, which has been expanded to encompass claims for damages for EU as well as national...

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