The uneasy case for rehabilitating small firms under the 1997-reorganization law in Belgium: evidence from reorganization plans
Using a sample of small Belgian firms that reorganized under the 1997 Law on Judicial Composition, I empirically review the law’s effectiveness to rehabilitate distressed debtors. The econometric findings show that firms with less pre-bankruptcy operational losses and a better cash position are more likely to successfully execute their reorganization plan and that certain debt restructuring measures can contribute to firm rescue. Despite these positive findings, many firms still failed to reorganise under the 1997-reorganization law, which resulted in constant criticism on its effectiveness leading up to its recent replacement in 2009. My data also shows that within the former reorganization procedure the Belgian debtor was faced with high debt instalment payments compared to international practice and that successful plan execution relied too much on the uncertain realization of the operational cash flow projections. In discussing the legal framework of the new Law on Corporate Continuity enacted in 2009—replacing the 1997-law—I argue that this new law is a more effective legislation to save distressed businesses. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
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Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
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