France - Disposal of property companies' shares requires a notary deed (société civile immobilière and sociétés à préponderance immobilière)

A new article was added to the bill relating to the access to housing (Projet de loi pour l'accès au logement et un urbanisme rénové) at the time it was adopted, by the National Assembly on 17 September 2013, providing that transfers of shares require a notary deed for all disposals of property companies' shares.

This bill will be examined by the Senate on 22 October 2013.

France - Bill "aiming at recapturing the real economy"

Members of the National Assembly adopted, on first reading, on 1st October 2013, the bill "aiming at recapturing the real economy" (Proposition de loi visant à reconquérir l'économie réelle) called the "Florange Act".

The first article of this bill, which was aiming at lowering the threshold for takeover bids (OPA) from 30% to 25%, has not been included in the last version of the bill. However, the establishment of an expiry threshold for public offering at 50% and the generalization of double voting rights in listed companies have been retained.

France - Bill relating to the simplification and the securing of the companies' life (Projet de loi de simplification et de securisation de la vie des entreprises)

The bill enabling the Government to issue orders relating to the simplification and the securing of the companies' life was submitted to the Council of Ministers by the Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance on 4 September 2013.

Article 3 of the bill contains measures relating to corporate law, in particular:

  • simplification of the procedure applying to regulated agreements;
  • securing of the procedure applying to the repurchase of preference shares;
  • reform of the rules applying to complex financial instruments;
  • extension of the deadline relating to the ordinary general meeting in limited liability companies (SARL);
  • simplification of formalities applying to disposal of shares for certain form of companies (société en nom collectif et société à responsabilité limitée);
  • reform of article 1843-4 of the civil code relating to the assessment by an expert of the shares in the event of an objection.

This bill was adopted, on first reading, by the National Assembly on 1st October 2013.

European Law - Draft regulation regarding stronger sanctions for financial markets manipulation

The European Parliament adopted, on 10 September 2013, a draft regulation to harmonize administrative sanctions applying to financial markets manipulations and insider dealings.

The sanctions should be increased for companies convicted of market abuse since the fine may be up to 15% of the annual turnover or 15 million euros.

Individual should be subject to a fine of up to 5 million euros and a temporary or permanent ban to operate in investment firms.

Furthermore, the European Parliament announced that it will launch negotiations with member states on the market abuse directive (criminal sanctions for market abuse) in October 2013.