CELF - Center of European Law & Finance
On 6 April 2020, the Italian Council of Ministers approved a new Law Decree on ‘Urgent measures concerning access to credit and deferral of obligations for companies, as well as special powers in sectors of strategic importance and justice’ (the "Decree"). Published on 8 April 2020 in the Italian Official Gazette, General Series - no. 94., the Decree is the second of three emergency decrees in support of national business, issued with the intention of providing further measures in favour of companies, consisting mainly in the granting of State guarantees as a way of increasing access to liquidity. The main measures include:
the loans granted provide for the start of capital repayment no earlier than 24 months after disbursement and have a duration of up to 72 months and an amount not exceeding 25% of the amount of the beneficiary's revenues, as resulting from the latest financial statements or latest tax return filed on the date of the guarantee application or, for beneficiaries incorporated after 1 January 2019, other appropriate documentation, including self-certification pursuant to Article 47 of Presidential Decree 445/2000 and, in any case, not exceeding € 25,000.00.The Decree also specifies what is meant by the terms "new financing" and the conditions provided for in cases of sale or lease of going concern with continuation of the same activity.
The new letter n) sets forth, for beneficiaries with revenues not exceeding € 3,200,000, whose business activity has been damaged by the COVID-19 emergency (to be self-certified), that the guarantee referred to under letter c) may be combined with a further guarantee granted by the Confidi or other entities authorized to issue guarantees, from their own resources, up to 100% of the loan granted.
Letter o) provides for the possibility of requesting the Guarantee Fund also for financial transactions already completed and disbursed by the lender no later than 3 months after the date of submission of the request and, in any case, after 31 January 2020.
The new 2nd paragraph provides for specific measures valid until 31 December 2020, as an exception to the current rules of the Fund referred to in Article 2, paragraph 100, letter a) of Law662 of 23 December 1996, for guarantees on loan portfolios, even without an amortisation plan, dedicated to companies damaged by the COVID-19 emergency and consisting of at least 20% of companies having, as of the date of inclusion of the transaction in the portfolio, a rating, determined by the applicant on the basis of its internal models, not higher than class "BB" on the Standard's and Poor's rating scale.