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Greek Codified Law no 2190/1920 (“Company Law”) is the Greek law regarding public limited liability companies, which take the form in Greece of “Ανώνυμη Εταιρεία” (or “Anonymi Etaireia”). For the purposes of this chapter, Greek public limited liability companies under the form of “Ανώνυμη Εταιρεία” or “Anonymi Etaireia” will be referred to as “limited liability company”.
The Second Company Law Directive was incorporated into the Greek Codified Law no 2190/1920 by Presidential Decree 409/1986. The amendments to the Second Company Law Directive introduced by (i) Directive 92/101/EEC of 23 November 1992 and (ii) Directive 2006/68/EC of 6 September 2006 were incorporated in the Greek Company Law by virtue of (i) Presidential Decree 60/2001 (Government Gazette 51A 2001) and (ii) Law 3604/2007 (Government Gazette 189 A/2007) respectively.
The Second Company Law Directive allows the Member States to exclude from its scope of application investment companies with variable capital (so-called open-ended investment companies) and cooperatives that take the form of a public limited liability company. The Company Law does not expressly state that the Law does not apply to open-ended investment companies. Therefore, if such an investment company takes the form of a Greek limited liability company, the provisions of the Company Law will apply.
The Cross-border Merger Directive has been implemented in Greece pursuant to law 3777/2009 (the ‘Greek Law on Cross-border Mergers’). This law was enacted as a separate piece of corporate legislation regarding specifically cross-border mergers, which is supplemented by relevant provisions of existing company legislation, depending on the type of legal form.
Scope of the new rules
The Greek Law on Cross-border Mergers applies to all Greek limited liability companies, as these are set out in the First Company Law Directive (68/151/EEC) (i.e. societes anonymes (ανώνυμες εταιρίες), private limited liability companies (εταιρίες περιορισμένης ευθύνης) and limited partnerships by shares (ετερόρρυθμες κατά μετοχές εταιρίες) and to European companies (SE) whose seat is located in Greece. Moreover, the Greek Law on Cross-border Mergers also applies to companies with share capital and having legal personality, possessing separate assets, which alone serve to cover its debts, and subject, under national law governing it, to conditions concerning guarantees such as are provided for by the First Company Law (68/151/EEC) for the protection of the interests of members and other third parties.
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