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The European Company under french law: main features

Publié le 30/09/2008

The Regulation No. 2157/2001 on the statute for a European company and the Directive on 2001/86/EC supplementing the Statute for a European company with regard to the involvement of employees introduce a new corporate structure under French...

The european company

The Regulation No. 2157/2001 on the statute for a European company and the Directive on 2001/86/EC supplementing the Statute for a European company with regard to the involvement of employees introduce a new corporate structure under French law justifying the inclusion of new chapters in both the Commercial Code and Labour Code of France.

In order to assess the merits of this new alternative, the benefits offered by the SE structure and regime need to be examined in comparison with existing corporate structures under French law, in particular the SA, which is the structure that the SE most resembles.

This article reviews the main features of the SE as a legal entity under French law facilitating the formation of European groups.

It also looks at reasons for choosing the French SE regime from the point of view of corporate and employment law.

The SE is clearly most valuable in cases where the scope of business is European, in which context it can facilitate transnational mergers and joint operations, make the transfer of registered offices possible and serve as a model for streamlining the corporate governance of European groups.

If, on the whole, the French legislator has proved conservative with regard to the SE, even in implementing the Directive on labour side, he has nevertheless granted the ‘French’ SE plenty of freedom in the statutes regarding the definition of relationships among shareholders.

The authors of this article

This article was written by Michel Menjucq, Professor at the University of Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne
Member of Lexia Law firm (Eurojuris International)
And,
Fabrice Fages and Lionel Vuidard, Attorneys at Law (Latham & Watkins).
Cet article n'engage que son auteur.

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