Webcast: M&A Legal Developments in France in 2014

March 6, 2015

Overview of major French law reforms in 2014 that may have a significant impact on M&A transactions.

Topics discussed:

Part I – Corporate law: Focus on recent legal developments concerning:

  • The strengthening of the French government’s control over foreign investments in the wake of recent cross-border transactions
  • The strengthening of the legal defenses of French listed companies against both creeping and hostile takeovers
  • The improvement of the enforceability of shareholders’ agreements
  • The hardening of the corporate governance rules relating to the appointment of directors and the top executives’ compensation

Part II – Labor law: General overview of the most significant and debated labor law reforms with a focus on:

  • The new rules relating to the information and consultation of the employees’ representatives
  • The obligation to seek a purchaser prior to shutting down business sites in France
  • The new employees’ right to offer to purchase their company

Part III – Tax law: Focus on recent tax developments concerning:

  • The new rules facilitating French tax unity
  • The new rules facilitating the use of French trusts (fiducie)

View Slides [PDF]


Introduction:
Markus Nauheim – German and U.S.-qualified partner in the Munich office of Gibson Dunn. He is a member of the firm’s international Corporate Transactions Group. Mr. Nauheim concentrates on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and venture capital deals, as well as cross-border joint ventures. He also advises on general corporate law, public takeovers, capital markets law and corporate governance issues.

Moderator:

Bernard Grinspan
– French and New York qualified partner in the Paris office of Gibson Dunn, where he serves as Chairman of the International Management Committee and Partner-in-Charge of the office. For more than twenty years, Mr. Grinspan has advised publicly traded and privately held business entities on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and works closely with clients to provide guidance on strategic and financial investments. In addition, he works regularly on debt restructuring and insolvency matters. He also has notable experience in distributorship and licensing agreements as well as FCPA investigations.

Panelists:

Jérôme Delaurière – French qualified partner in the Paris office of Gibson Dunn. Mr. Delaurière advises international companies and investment funds with respect to the tax structuring of various French and international mergers & acquisitions transactions, restructuring transactions, private equity/venture capital transactions and structured finance transactions.

François Funck-Brentano – Managing Director and General Counsel at Lazard Frères. A French and New York qualified lawyer and a graduate of leading French business school ESCP-Europe and Harvard Law School, he began his career as a lawyer for Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York and then worked in their Paris office. He later became Director and Legal counsel for GE Capital Europe based in London and subsequently joined Lazard in Paris as General Counsel in 1999.

Louis Godron – Chairman of Argos Soditic since 2012, Louis Godron joined the Paris office of Argos Soditic in 1991. Since then he has led more than 20 transactions and 2 IPOs. Although structuring complex transactions in all industries, Louis has focused particularly on the technology field and on branded consumer goods. Previously, Louis worked for Initiative et Finance, a leading French private equity firm focused on small companies, where he began his association with Gilles Mougenot. Prior to that, he spent two years with Elf Aquitaine in Geneva in the Risk Management team. From June 2012 to June 2014 Louis Godron was Chairman of the French Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (AFIC Association Française des Investisseurs pour la Croissance). Previously, within AFIC he has been a member of the Board and President of the Buyout Commission since 2010, and Treasurer since June 2011.

François Kayat – Managing Director at Lazard Frères and previously Managing Director at Crédit Agricole CIB (Calyon), and Head of Investment Banking. He formerly worked at Kleinwort Benson, and then at Credit Suisse where he was Head of Mergers and Acquisitions in France before becoming joint Director of the bank’s investment banking business in France. He subsequently became Chairman of Mergers and Acquisitions for Credit Suisse in Europe.