The French Petroplus Law


The Decree No. 2012-1190 of October 25, 2012 has recently clarified the Law No. 2012-346 of March 12, 2012 on protective measures (mesures conservatoires) applicable to French safeguard, recovery and liquidation proceedings, named as the Petroplus Law.

The Petroplus Law was mainly designed, and adopted, in the context of a highly publicized insolvency proceeding of Petroplus Raffinage Petit-Couronne SAS, a French oil refining company.

The French government, and public opinion, were shocked to learn that this French company, which was profitable, had been forced to file a motion for bankruptcy essentially due to the behavior of its foreign parent's companies: its bank accounts were fully emptied by the parent's banks shortly before filing for insolvency (171 million euros were withdrawn by one of the parent's banks) and its oil inventory (notably crude stock estimated up to 200 million euros) was legally owned by its parent, leaving the French company with no assets and in default to senior notes and convertible bonds.

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