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France

Mergers

Updated 07/2009

Legal requirements

Mergers are governed by the following legislation:

Types of merger

Any business can take part in one of the following merger operations:

Merger by incorporation

This merger is an operation in which an 'absorbed' company transfers all its assets to a 'surviving' company. This increases capital for the surviving company and also allows the absorbed company to be dissolved without it having to go into liquidation.

Merger by setting up a new company

This type of merger occurs when at least two companies merge to create a new company. The advantage here is increasing capital for the surviving company and allowing the absorbed company to be dissolved without it having to go into liquidation.

Merger results:

  • exchange of ownership interests   (shareholders acquire the same status as the surviving company);                 
  • equalisation payments   (i.e. for shares or batches of shares in the event of redistribution).                

Merger conditions

             Two tax systems   apply to mergers:

  • common law system;    
  • special system.    

Buying an existing company, with an already established structure, can be a good way of expanding your business.

Administrative procedures

Merger procedure

To successfully complete a merger, business owners must:

  • draw up a merger plan   after taking legal advice;
  • submit   the merger plan to the office of the commercial court ;
  • publish a notice   of the merger plan in the legal notices of each local district where the head offices of participating companies are based;
  • obtain approval   for the plan at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders;
  • file a declaration   with the office of the commercial court, outlining all actions carried out and certifying that the operation has been completed in accordance with regulations.

The merger of two limited liability companies (SARL) follows a different procedure.

Notification

The general directorate for competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control (DGCCRF) oversees how the rules on economic concentrations are applied.

Resources

The business support and economic development observatory provides information on policies for supporting businesses and compares practices for supporting business development. 

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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