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Articles contributed by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners
Once again, business law firm Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) is among the front-runners in Austria where international rankings are concerned, a fact confirmed by the Chambers Global Guide 2012, which was published in March 2012.
Country Q&A Austria: What are the most common forms of security taken in relation to immovable and movable property? Are any specific formalities required for the creation of security by companies?
In line with many other jurisdictions, the Austrian M&A market has suffered from the financial crisis both in terms of volume and number of deals. Most estimates and statistics have shown a drop-off in 2008 of between 20% and 30% as compared to 2007
As in many other jurisdictions, the Austrian government was forced to react quickly to the financial crisis in the autumn of 2008. Providing support to banks was a central component of the legislative measures on financial market stabilisation that were adopted in late October 2008. After the joint declaration on the concerted European action plan on October 12 2008, the Austrian government promptly the next day announced a package of measures intended to be taken. One week later the Austrian parliament adopted the implementing legislation on financial market stabilisation which went into effect in large part on October 27 2008. The European Commission state aid approval of the Austrian financial market stabilisation measures was communicated on December 10 2008 and extended to the end of this year by a decision rendered on June 30 2009.
Austria is fairly unique in Europe in that it has wide-reaching provisions imposing by statute successor liability on purchasers in asset deals for pre-existing liabilities of the business sold. Provisions on purchaser liability for asset deals are contained in both the General Civil Code as well as the Company Act and apply cumulatively. This year the Austrian Company Act was considerably revised. New provisions of the Austrian Company Act went into effect on January 1, 2007 that substantially alter the parameters of purchaser successor liability. This article will outline the impact of these changes and also highlight some other new provisions that are relevant for assets deals.