European planes and foreign shares, the limit of 49% for non-EU shareholders remains -SPECIALS AVIONEWS
Rome, Italy - The European Commission published the guidelines that explain how to assess the requirements of ownership and control
The European Commission published yesterday the guidelines on the interpretation of the European Community (EC) regulation regarding the assessment of the compliance with the ownership and control requirements for European airlines. As it was anticipated (see AVIONEWS) nothing changes with regards to the majority stakes in the ownership of an EU air carrier: to be considered European the majority share - 50% plus one of the capital- must be hold by subjects belonging to the Union. The Commission explains how to intepret both the requirement of ownership -which sometimes can be difficult because of the presence of stock quotes and intermediaries- and that of the control, another key element to establish the "nationality" of an airline. In fact the Commission believes that it is also necessary to understand who has the real decision-making power inside the company management -that is not always linked to the majority of the ownership- considering both the shareholding structure and the governance and persons who have key roles inside the company. For these last ones, the nationality is not as relevant as the possible conections to the shareholder from the non-EU Country. In particular a stake held by a third Country of more than 30% might as a rule require an assessment by the competent authority. The veto rights, the shareholders' rights and other commercial cooperations with third countries are also taken into consideration. It is possible to see the English integral version of the document (16 pages) in the "Specials" section on the left side of the AVIONEWS' home-page.
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