Corporate

LIME’s forte is a sound and comprehensive, yet practical, knowledge of all aspects of corporate law.

We provide value-added legal services to enterprises at all stages of development, from leading group of companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, credit and insurance institutions, public undertakings and collaborative economy’s actors.

LIME advises them on a broad array of legal matters, such as companies and group structuring and reorganizations, acquisitions, corporate governance matters, mergers, de-mergers and assets transfer.

We are also frequently involved in sectorial think tanks and asked by professional associations to advise on the development of legislation.

LIME’s partner Thierry Tilquin has authored or co-authored several major publications in corporate law, among which a treaty on mergers and demergers, a treaty on company law, and many articles on a variety of corporate law matters. The other members of our team have also authored various articles on corporate law.

  1. Corporate
  2. Cooperative companies
  3. Group structuring
  4. Listed companies
  5. Mergers and acquisitions and take-over bids
  6. Restructuration (merger, demerger, asset transfer, squeeze-out)

Corporate

Description

An efficient and pragmatic knowledge of corporate law, in all its aspects, is essential for any company when it comes to assessing and mitigating legal risks, or to structuring and optimizing the activity of any business.

References

Our team advises on a daily basis a vast array of clients on various corporate law matters, including complex questions which require an expert and in-depth analysis. More generally, we handle all corporate law issues that shall help putting our clients’ decision process on the right – and safe – track.

We also assist our clients in negotiating and drafting a range of tailored documents such as specific intra-group agreements, corporate decisions, reports and other internal corporate documents.

View publications and lectures

  • Thierry Tilquin, "Démission et exclusion : ébauche d’une SRL à capitaux propres variables", in La SRL, Jeune Barreau, Larcier, 2019, and academic supervision of the symposium on this topic with A.P. André-Dumont
  • Thierry Tilquin, "La société en commandite par actions : est-ce vraiment la fin ?", in Mélanges Pascal Minne, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2016, p. 87 and fl.
  • Thérèse Loffet, Cécile Coune, "De verzekering van de aansprakelijkheid van bedrijfsleiders in de praktijk", Tijdschrift voor Belgisch Handelsrecht, 2011, pp. 97 and fl.
  • Thérèse Loffet, Cécile Coune, "L’assurance de la responsabilité des dirigeants d’entreprise", in Les assurances de responsabilité de l’entreprise – Questions choisies, coll. Les ateliers des FUCAM, Louvain-la-Neuve, Anthemis, 2010
  • Thierry Tilquin, Bénédicte Fanard, "Les éléments essentiels de la société", in Le Droit des sociétés aujourd’hui : principes, évolutions et perspectives, Jeune Barreau, 2008, p. 362 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Valérie Simonart, Traité des sociétés civiles et commerciales, Kluwer Editions juridiques Belgique, t. I (939 pp), 1996, t. II (399 pp), 1997, t. III (686 pp), 2005
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Le droit des sociétés et les technologies nouvelles", in Droit des sociétés : questions pratiques, Jeune Barreau, Larcier, 2003, p. 225 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Les actions et parts sans valeur nominale en droit belge", Bulletin Joly, juillet 1998, p. 738 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "L’incorporation comme facteur de rattachement de la lex societatis", Revue pratique des sociétés, 1998, n° 6734, p. 5 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Valérie Simonart, "La société du Code civil à objet commercial", Bulletin Institut des Reviseurs d'entreprises, 1997, p.30 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Exclusion, retrait, reprise et dissolution dans le projet n° 1005", Revue pratique des sociétés, 1994, n° spécial, p. 61 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "La société privée et la société faisant ou ayant fait publiquement appel à l'épargne", Revue de droit commercial, 1993, p. 92 and f. and p. 708 and f.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "De herroeping van de liquidatie", Tijdschrift voor rechtspersoon en vennootschapsrecht, 1993, p. 443 and f.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Note sous Bruxelles, 15 mars 1991, «Bevoegdheidsafwending door de Raad van Bestuur en sanctionering van een intentie”, Tijdschrift voor rechtspersoon en vennootschapsrecht, 1992, p.261 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Les opérations d'assainissement du capital des sociétés en difficulté et l'abus de droit des actionnaires", Revue de droit commercial, 1991, p. 6 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Le renouveau de la société en commandite par actions", Revue de la Banque, 1991, p. 89 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "L'exclusion d'un associé et les conflits dans la société anonyme", Revue pratique des sociétés, 1991, p. 1 and fl.

Cooperative companies

Description

Cooperative companies have played an important role in the economy for nearly two centuries. They are constantly renewing their way of functioning and adjusting to the economic and social evolutions, the latest one being the use of digital platforms to facilitate the relationship between founders and members.

This corporate legal form is adopted both by major actors of the financial, insurance and commercial sector as well as by smaller actors in many fields of the economy.

For each of them, tailored solutions must be found.

References

Over the years, our team has been advising cooperative companies on all aspects of corporate law, especially in relation to the rights and obligations of members of this corporate legal form, and has notably been:

  • advising on the rights and obligations of members and specific corporate mechanisms in this context, and drafting the articles of associations accordingly
  • advising on restructuring and reorganization of cooperative groups
  • assisting in the very specific context of take-over bids on cooperative institutions
  • advising on the corporate aspects of constraints faced by cooperative companies in regulated sectors
  • advising on the structure of cooperative companies of the public sector
  • advising on the use of cooperative investment structure
  • advising on the setting up of a cooperative platform
  • advising a professional association with respect to amendments to the text of the future Belgian Company and Association Code, as well as a member of the Belgian House of representatives and his team in the drafting of the draft Book 6 of said Code

View publications and lectures

  • Thierry Tilquin, Thérèse Loffet, Maïka Bernaerts, La société coopérative, to be published, 2019
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Démission et exclusion : ébauche d’une SRL à capitaux propres variables", in La SRL, Jeune Barreau, Larcier, 2019, and academic supervision of the symposium on this topic with A.P. André-Dumont
  • Thérèse Loffet, Maïka Bernaerts, "Les associés de la société coopérative", in Les sociétés coopératives : nouvelles évolutions, Direction scientifique Julie-Anne Delcorde, Jeune Barreau, Larcier, 2018, p.77 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "La société coopérative, outil de ‘disruption’", in Les sociétés coopératives : nouvelles évolutions, Direction scientifique Julie-Anne Delcorde, Jeune Barreau, Larcier, 2018, p. 115 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Valérie Simonart, Traité des sociétés civiles et commerciales, Kluwer Editions juridiques Belgique, t. I (939 pp), 1996, t. II (399 pp), 1997, t. III (686 pp), 2005

Group structuring

Description

Groups of companies are a well-known economic reality and have for several years been discussed in case law, be it at national or European levels.

The structuring and restructuring of groups of companies requires special attention at the level of both the mother company and the subsidiaries.

Among others, these will require tailor-made solutions in terms of governance, assessment of compliance and risks, delegation of powers and limitation of potential liabilities. An excellent and comprehensive knowledge of all the corporate legal tools available, and their respective advantages and constraints, is also required to provide clients with complex reorganizations needs with the best possible solution.

References

We have an extensive experience in advising groups of companies at national level or cross-border. Over the years, our team:

  • assisted major groups in the structuring of their governance, at group level or for their Belgian subsidiaries only
  • has assisted in major reorganizations of real estate groups, including the refinancing of their operation
  • assisted groups in regulated sectors such as banking or insurance for their reorganization
  • more generally, gave numerous advices on all aspects of group structuring and governance for a various range of clients

View publications and lectures

  • Thierry Tilquin, "Evolution du droit des groupes en droit européen : nouveaux concepts", in Droit des groupes de sociétés, Bruxelles, Éditions Larcier, 2013, p. 7 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "La gouvernance d’entreprise et les groupes de sociétés", in Le droit des affaires en évolution : les relations intragroupes : 15ème journée du juriste d’entreprise 18/11/2004, Bruxelles, Bruylant and Antwerpen, Kluwer, 2004, p. 57 and fl.

Listed companies

Description

Listed companies are subject to numerous sets of rules, and notably specific rules under the Belgian Company Code, a body of rules inspired by the capital market regulation, and specific governance rules.

Listed companies, be it companies with listed share capital or with other listed securities, must:

  • structure their governance accordingly
  • be constantly aware of the governance, compliance and risks aspects involved with market regulation specificities: managing of the information, market abuse, prospectus regulation, …

Hence, knowledgeable legal assistance in these various fields is of essence.

References

We have an extensive experience on the various concerns of listed companies.

Over the years, our team:

  • has advised listed companies on governance structures
  • gave advice on market abuse regulations, be it for general issues or in the M&A framework
  • advised listed companies on shareholders’ meeting issues
  • assisted offerors or the target company in the context of take-over bids
  • advised in the context of capital increase and issuances of bonds in listed companies
  • has been advising, when this matter was of essence, on share dematerialization issues and VVPR strip matters

View publications and lectures

  • Julie-Anne Delcorde, "Le point sur les abus de marché", lecture, Midis de la Formation , Conférence du Jeune Barreau de Bruxelles, October 2017
  • Thierry Tilquin, Julie-Anne Delcorde, "La convocation et l’information préalable à l’assemblée générale", in Les assemblées générales : La loi concernant l’exercice des droits d’actionnaires de sociétés cotées - De algemene vergaderingen : Wet betreffende de uitoefening van bepaalde rechten van aandeelhouders van genoteerde vennootschappen, eds. Thierry Tilquin and Valérie Simonart, Larcier, 2011, p. 25 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Valérie Simonart, "La loi sur l’exercice de certains droits par les actionnaires des sociétés cotées", in Les assemblées générales : La loi concernant l’exercice des droits d’actionnaires de sociétés cotées - De algemene vergaderingen : Wet betreffende de uitoefening van bepaalde rechten van aandeelhouders van genoteerde vennootschappen, Larcier, 2011, p. 3 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "La société privée et la société faisant ou ayant fait publiquement appel à l'épargne", Revue de droit commercial, 1993, p. 92 and f. and p. 708 and f.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Occasionele informatie die de beurskoers kan beïnvloeden", Tiijdschrift voor rechtspersoon en vennootschapsrecht, 1992, p. 191 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Le rôle du conseil d'administration en cas d'offre publique d'acquisition", Revue pratique des sociétés, 1988, p. 1 and fl.

Mergers and acquisitions and take-over bids

Description

Mergers and acquisitions require a quick and focused understanding of the mother (-to-be) company’s and target’s businesses, as well as an agility in finding solutions to the many issues that arise in the course of the M&A process. It also often calls for negotiating skills, which mostly result from both experience and expertise.

Our team’s qualities are a guarantee that we will be aligned with those objectives.

We have moreover a long-term experience in working in a seamless manner with foreign law firms on cross-border transactions and our associates perfectly fit in the team of the whole transaction.

References

In addition to numerous involvements in the acquisitions of companies in various sectors, our team has assisted high-profile acquisitions of major importance for the Belgian economy, and in the transactions that took place during and after the financial crisis of 2008 and is aftermath, amongst which:

  • the acquisition, through capital increase, of a 49% shareholding in the capital of the Belgian credit institution Fortis Bank SA/NV (September 2008), the purchase of the outstanding 51% of the shares in Fortis Bank SA/NV (October 2008) and the negotiation with the French listed credit institution BNP Paribas for the contribution to the latter of 75% of the shares in Fortis Bank SA/NV (October 2008-May 2009)
  • the structuring in this context of Royal Park Investment SA/NV, the hive-off vehicle of the Belgian credit institution Fortis Bank SA/NV (2008-2009)
  • the acquisition, along with the Governments of the Flemish and the Walloon regions, through capital increase of 1.5 billion EUR of a 75% stake in Ethias Group, the Belgium-based financial services group
  • the 1 billion EUR capital increase of Dexia SA/NV, along with the Belgian regions, the French State and the French Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (2008)
  • the 4 billion EUR acquisition of Dexia Bank Belgium SA/NV (renamed Belfius SA/NV in the meantime), both for M&A aspects as well as for regulatory aspects in Belgium and various foreign jurisdictions (2011-2012)
  • the 5.5 billion EUR capital increase of Dexia SA/NV, subscribed along with the French State (2012)
  • the sale to the major French listed credit institution BNP Paribas of the 25% +1 share held in BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV (previously Fortis Bank SA/NV) (2013)
  • in the context of the sale and purchase of the receivables portfolio held by Royal Park Investments SA/NV, the hive-off vehicle of the Belgian credit institution Fortis Bank SA/NV, to the institutional investor Lone Star Fund (2013)

Our team has also assisted, over the years, either the offeror or the target company in various take-over bids, including a take-over bid on listed real certificates.

View publications and lectures

  • Thierry Tilquin, "Quelques aspects de la transmission et de la continuité des sociétés familiales", La protection de l'entreprise familiale, FEB, 1992, p. 65 to 77 and « Enkele aspecten betreffende de overdracht en de continuiteit van de familiale ondernemingen », De familiale onderneming, FEB, 1992, p. 69 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Pierre van Ommeslaghe, "Les fusions et acquisitions – Aspects juridiques", in Fusions et acquisitions, Roularta – Générale de Banque, 1991, p. 86 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Le rôle du conseil d'administration en cas d'offre publique d'acquisition", Revue pratique des sociétés, 1988, p. 1 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Raphaël Prioux, "Management buyout et leveraged buyout - Considérations de droit fiscal et de droit des sociétés", Revue de la Banque, 1989, p. 195 and fl., and p. 251 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Raphaël Prioux, "Management buyouts et leveraged management buyouts - Incidences de la réforme fiscale du 22 décembre 1989, spécialement en matière de fusions", Revue de la Banque, 1989, p. 257 and fl.

Restructuration (merger, demerger, asset transfer, squeeze-out)

Description

Merger, demerger and other forms of restructuration of companies and non-profit entities are an essential part of the evolution of many companies and entities.

These need careful advice as to the steps of the process, together with a detailed analysis of their consequences, be it for the companies concerned and their business or for the concurred entities, especially for entities for which the process is not directly organized by the Belgian Company Code.

References

Our team is highly specialized in all aspects of restructuration, both at national and cross-border level and can rely on the presence of Thierry Tilquin who is the author of a major treaty on mergers and demergers, published right after the Belgian act of 29 June 1993 amending the law on companies regarding mergers and demergers, with the second edition to be published in 2020. This work is recognized as a reference book within the academic and practical corporate field.

Over the years, our team has:

  • assisted major groups of companies in various reorganizations, especially in the real estate sector
  • assisted companies in regulated sectors, such as banking and insurance in several mergers, demergers or universal transfers of assets
  • assisted Belgian public holdings in their merger, including, besides complex corporate aspects, for the drafting of the applicable law and related royal decrees
  • has been consulted by public notaries on specific issues relating to a restructuration and the control of its legality
  • has been advising on cross-border mergers, including triangular mergers with companies, private or listed, governed by the laws of American States

View publications and lectures

  • Thierry Tilquin, Traité des fusions et scissions, Kluwer Editions Juridiques Belgique, 1993 (659 pp) and in preparation, Traité des fusions et scissions, second edition, Kluwer, to be published, 2020
  • Thierry Tilquin, Kevin Alfers, Note under Cass. 11 October 2017, "Les opérations de restructuration et le transfert de la responsabilité contraventionnelle", Revue pratique des sociétés - Tijdschrift voor Rechtspersoon en Vennootschap, 2019, p. 14 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Note under ECJ, 7 avril 2016, "L’arrêt KA Finanz AG : la fusion transfrontalière et la protection des créanciers", Revue de droit commercial, 2018, p. 64 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Julie-Anne Delcorde, "Les restructurations transfrontalières en droit belge", in Fusions transfrontalières de sociétés : droit luxembourgeois et droit comparé, Larcier, 2011, p. 169 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Julie-Anne Delcorde, "Les fusions transfrontalières", Cahiers du Juriste, 2010/2, p. 29 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Julie-Anne Delcorde, "La fusion transfrontalière de sociétés de capitaux en droit belge après la transposition de la Directive 2005/56/CE", Revue pratique des sociétés, 2009, p. 7 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Michaël André, "Article 113 – Fusion", in Het Wetboek Internationaal privaatrecht becommentarieerd / Le Code de droit international privé commenté, Bruxelles, Intersentia – Bruylant, 2006, p. 590 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, Note under Versailles, 3 October 1996, "Apport partiel d'actif par une société étrangère", Bulletin Joly, février 1997, p. 116 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Une nouvelle forme de réorganisation de sociétés : l'article 174/65 des lois coordonnées sur les sociétés commerciales", Bulletin Institut des Reviseurs d'entreprises, august 1996, p. 7 and 8
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Le transfert d'universalité et de branche d'activité", Journal des Tribunaux, 1996, p. 493 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Fusion, scission, apport de branche d'activité et d'universalité dans le projet n° 1005", Revue pratique des sociétés, 1994, n° spécial, p. 201 and fl.
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Fusion et scission (aspects transfrontaliers)", 1994, v° of Dictionnaire Joly des Sociétés
  • Thierry Tilquin, "Les scissions de sociétés commerciales ou à forme commerciale", Les fusions et scissions internes de sociétés, Jeune Barreau, 1993, p. 165 and fl.