Foreign ownership limit in a public-turned-private shareholding company.

Under the new Decree 58/2012, a company, which ceases to be a public company, will still be subject to the restrictions applicable to a public company for a period of one year after the date on which it is no longer a public company. This effectively means that a public-turned-private shareholding company is still subject to the 49% foreign ownership limit applicable to public companies for a period of one year after ceasing being a public company.

However, the restriction under the new Decree 58/2012 does not apply if the relevant company is turned private due to “consolidation, merger, bankruptcy, dissolution, change of form of enterprise or acquisition by another entity”. Among these exceptions, the “change of form of an enterprise” seems to be easier to implement. Under the Enterprise Law, a shareholding company can change its corporate form by turning it into a limited liability company. However, this will likely require the public shareholding company to reduce its number of shareholders from more than 100 to 50 or less.