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Transposition of the SE legislation in the UK (Final report: October 2004 )

Regulations to implement the European Company Statute in Great Britain were laid before Parliament on 13 September. They come into effect on 8 October 2004. The European Public Limited-Liability Company Regulations 2004 set out which of the various Member State options in the EU Regulation Britain has adopted. The Regulations also prescribe the documentation that will need to be filed at Companies House (the official institution with which companies must deposit information for public inspection) in order that a European Company can be registered. They also implement the EU Directive. The Regulations are little changed from the original proposals put forward by the government in October 2003. Their main aim is to implement the EU legislation, while making the fewest possible changes to the current UK situation.

In the press release announcing that the Regulations have been laid the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the sponsoring department, makes clear that the use of the new form of company "will be entirely voluntary". The release also indicates, why, in the view of the DTI a company might choose this form. It states:
"a GB company wishing to take over a company from another Member State, or wishing to establish a joint venture with a company in another Member State, might find it easier to reach agreement with the overseas company if it decided to form a joint holding company or joint subsidiary in the form of an SE.

A GB public company wishing to operate in several Member States simultaneously might consider that there were presentational advantages in adopting the SE status and form."

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