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Directive 2006/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (repealed)Show full title

Directive 2006/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 amending Council Directive 77/91/EEC as regards the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital (Text with EEA relevance) (repealed)

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Directive 2006/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

of 6 September 2006

amending Council Directive 77/91/EEC as regards the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital

(Text with EEA relevance) (repealed)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 44(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(2),

Whereas:

(1) The second Council Directive 77/91/EEC of 13 December 1976 on coordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, in respect of the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent(3), sets out the requirements for several capital-related measures taken by such companies.

(2) In its Communication of 21 May 2003 to the Council and the European Parliament entitled ‘Modernising Company Law and Enhancing Corporate Governance in the European Union – A Plan to Move Forward’ the Commission draws the conclusion that a simplification and modernisation of Directive 77/91/EEC would significantly contribute to the promotion of business efficiency and competitiveness without reducing the protection offered to shareholders and creditors. Those objectives have the first priority but do not affect the need to proceed without delay to a general examination of the feasibility of alternatives to the capital maintenance regime which would adequately protect the interests of creditors and shareholders of a public limited liability company.

(3) Member States should be able to permit public limited liability companies to allot shares for consideration other than in cash without requiring them to obtain a special expert valuation in cases in which there is a clear point of reference for the valuation of such consideration. Nonetheless, the right of minority shareholders to require such valuation should be guaranteed.

(4) Public limited liability companies should be allowed to acquire their own shares up to the limit of the company's distributable reserves and the period for which such an acquisition may be authorised by the general meeting should be increased so as to enhance flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for companies which have to react promptly to market developments affecting the price of their shares.

(5) Member States should be able to permit public limited liability companies to grant financial assistance with a view to the acquisition of their shares by a third party up to the limit of the company's distributable reserves so as to increase flexibility with regard to changes in the ownership structure of the share capital of companies. This possibility should be subject to safeguards, having regard to this Directive's objective of protecting both shareholders and third parties.

(6) In order to enhance standardised creditor protection in all Member States, creditors should be able to resort, under certain conditions, to judicial or administrative proceedings where their claims are at stake as a consequence of a reduction in the capital of a public limited liability company.

(7) In order to ensure that market abuse is prevented, Member States should take into account, for the purpose of implementation of this Directive, the provisions of Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse)(4), Commission Regulation (EC) No 2273/2003 of 22 December 2003 implementing Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards exemptions for buy-back programmes and stabilisation of financial instruments(5) and Commission Directive 2004/72/EC of 29 April 2004 implementing Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards accepted market practices, the definition of inside information in relation to derivatives on commodities, the drawing up of lists of insiders, the notification of managers' transactions and the notification of suspicious transactions(6).

(8) Directive 77/91/EEC should therefore be amended accordingly.

(9) In accordance with point 34 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making(7), Member States are encouraged to draw up, for themselves and in the interest of the Community, their own tables illustrating, as far as possible, the correlation between this Directive and the transposition measures, and to make them public,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

(2)

Opinion of the European Parliament of 14 March 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Council Decision of 24 July 2006.

(3)

OJ L 26, 31.1.1977, p. 1. Directive as last amended by the 2003 Act of Accession.

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