Paris partner Anker Sorensen analyses the first implementation of the French Accelerated Financial Safeguard Procedure (Procédure de Sauvegarde Financière Accélérée) in an article published by International Corporate Rescue, Volume 10, Issue 4, 2013. The Accelerated Financial Safeguard Procedure (“AFS”) was introduced in France in late 2010 but remained applicable only to operational companies employing 150 employees or generating an annual turnover of EUR 20 million or more until September 2012, when a decree extended it to holding companies, subject to certain thresholds being met.
The first filing to open an AFS procedure came through in February 2013 and the financial restructuring plan was approved by the financial creditors and upheld by a decision from the Nanterre commercial Court within one month from the filing. This very short period of time between the filing and the decision shows that the AFS procedure can be used efficiently and expeditiously when certain conditions are fulfilled. Finally, the procedure was successfully applied to restructure the financial debt of the troubled holding company of one of the leaders in the French packing and logistics business, named Hejenion S.A., thus showing that some of the recent changes in the AFS regime have allowed it to go off the starting block.
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