In our September newsletter we mentioned that the European Parliament had adopted a directive which will make various amendments to the EU Prospectus Rules. The Council of the European Union has since approved the changes and member states will need to implement the amending directive within 18 months of it being published in the Official Journal (which has not yet taken place), this gives an estimated latest implementation date of summer 2012.

The UK Government recently announced that it intends to implement two amendments to the Prospectus Rules early due to the benefits to small and medium-sized companies. The measures which are likely to be brought forward include:

  • increasing the current limit of exempt offers from €2.5m to €5m; and
  • increasing the 100 persons per member state exemption to 150 persons per member state.

The Government will consult in early 2011 regarding the implementation of these changes. Some companies based outside the EU may be disappointed that the UK Government is not proposing to accelerate the timetable for implementing the widening of the employee share scheme exemption.