How Can Creditors Protect their Claims on Companies in Restructuring
The Serbian Parliament has recently passed a new Law Amending the Law on Privatisation (the "New Law'') under urgent procedure. The New Law entered into force on 13 May 2014.
These changes significantly affect the position of creditors of companies undergoing restructuring, since the ban on enforced collection against companies in restructuring has been prolonged for another 150 days and a new procedure has been prescribed – a procedure that every creditor must go through in order to eventually collect their claim.
The Constitutional Court has rendered a decision on setting aside the provision of the Privatisation Law that protected companies in restructuring from enforcement until 30 June 2014. This decision was published on 14 May 2014. The majority of interpretations of this decision took the position that on 15 May 2014 a total of 164 companies in restructuring would have been exposed to enforced collection. However, by enactment of the New Law, this issue became irrelevant.
According to the New Law, creditors of companies in restructuring are obliged to submit a request to the Privatisation Agency for collection of their claims, with all relevant documentation, within 30 days from the day the New Law enters into force, for the purpose of registering all claims. Upon receiving a timely request, the Privatisation Agency will be under the obligation to propose the manner for collection of the claim to creditors within 90 days and creditors may raise objections to such proposal. After 150 days from the day the New Law entered into force has expired, creditors who have followed the prescribed procedure may initiate/continue proceedings for enforced collection from companies in restructuring. Our interpretation is that creditors who fail to register their claims will not be able to initiate enforced collection after the 150 days has expired.
Having this in mind and considering the short deadline for registering the claim with the Privatisation Agency, it is necessary to start preparing documentation for registering of the claims as soon as possible.
Karanović & Nikolić is at your disposal for any additional questions as well as to assist with the entire process of registering claims with the Privatisation Agency.