China: 反向分手费保险:让分手不再那么难

Last Updated: 19 May 2017
Article by DeHeng Law Offices

贾辉,合伙人/律师,德



越来越多的中国企业在"走出去"过程中遭遇反向分手费条款,不得已背负交易失败的绝大成本风险。我们最早在协助中国黄金参与2013年的一起海外并购中也遭遇这一问题。反向分手费的诞生,为解困这一难题提供了一个有效的解决方案,值得"走出去"的中国企业关注。

一、跨境并购中的反向分手费条款

反向分手费(Reverse Termination Fee 或Reverse Break-up Fee)相对于并购交易中由卖方支付给买方的分手费而言,是指在满足特定触发条件情况下由买方支付给卖方的分手费。反向分手费有以下要点值得关注:

1.触发支付反向分手费情形

对于中国企业而言,其常遭遇的反向分手费触发支付情形可能包括:(1)由于未获得中国政府关于境外投资的审批、核准、备案或登记而导致并购协议被终止,包括发改委、商务部、外汇管理部门、国资委(适用于国有企业)、金融证券监管机构(适用于银行、保险或上市公司)等相关政府部门;(2)由于未通过中国政府的反垄断审查或国家安全审查;(3)由于未通过外国政府的反垄断审查或国家安全审查或其他政府审批而导致投资并购协议被终止,例如美国CFIUS审查或澳大利亚FIRB审查;(4)由于并购方的股东会或股东大会没有批准并购交易而导致并购协议被终止;(5)由于并购方违反并购协议而导致并购协议被终止;(6)由于并购方未能获得融资而无力进行交割导致并购协议被终止;(7)其他相关情形。上述情形的设计可能还会和特定时间点挂钩,譬如在特定日期之前未取得相关政府审批或其他触发条件的。对于中国企业而言,尽量减少触发反向分手费的情形或尽量延长相关时间限制是有利的。

2. 反向分手费金额

反向分手费的金额一般与正向分手费相当,但近来年一些交易中也出现反向分手费高于正向分手费的现象。在美国,大部分并购交易中的反向分手费不超过交易金额的3%-7%。在加拿大,反向分手费一般是并购价格的1%-3%,并且通常与分手费的金额相同。

在近年来,中国企业所参与的海外并购交易中:(1)中国化工收购瑞士先年达(Syngenta),并购交易金额约为430亿美元,正向分手费为8.48亿美元,反向分手费为30亿美元,反向分手费为交易金额的约6.7% 1;(2)青岛海尔收购GE家电业务,并购交易金额为约54亿美元,没有约定正向分手费,反向分手费分两档:未通过反垄断审查的反向分手费为2亿美元,未通过中国政府批准或备案或未取得青岛海尔股东大会批准的反向分手费为4亿美元,分别约为交易金额的3.7%和7.4% 2;(3)珠海艾派克收购Lexmark International,交易金额约为39亿美元 3,正向分手费为0.95亿美元,反向分手费为1.5亿美元,反向分手费约为交易金额的5.55%。上述几个案例说明,中国企业在反向分手费的谈判中常常处于不利地位,反向分手费的金额经常高于正向分手费,国际市场针对中国买家产生财大气粗的不利市场印象预期。

3. 反向分手费的支付方式问题

中国企业在反向分手费的谈判过程中应注意是否设立托管账户,设立托管账户的银行和支付币种,反向分手费支付的时间和条件等问题。

4.反向分手费是否唯一的救济方式

中国企业在谈判中可主张将触发反向分手费情形时支付相关反向分手费作为唯一的救济方式,避免发生实际履行或者承担其他赔偿责任的情形。

5. 反向分手费的支付担保问题

反向分手费的支付担保方式包括(1)在托管账户预先存入反向分手费;(2)银行保函;(3)保证担保等方式。反向分手费保险的出现,为解决担保问题提供了利器。

二、反向分手费保险,应对分手难题的"神器"

反向分手费保险是指保险人承保被保险人因保险期间内所进行的并购交易发生反向分手费触发情形而有义务承担支付反向分手费损失的保险。例如,从事海外并购交易的中国企业可以向保险公司投保反向分手费保险,一旦发生反向分手费触发情形(如未获得相关政府审批)而需要支付反向分手费的情况下,由保险公司承担支付反向分手费。这样,中国公司可以通过支付保险费,以一种比较少的代价,获得保险公司的增信支持,给卖方对交易的确定性以更大的信心,促进交易的顺利进展,同时减少中国企业自身所承担的成本和风险。

反向分手费保险无疑是"走出去"的中国企业的福音,目前国内平安保险等保险公司已经率先开发出该类产品。在目前我国对于出境外汇实施较严的监管措施的背景下,反向分手费保险产品减少了很多中国企业参与海外投资并购交易的后顾之忧。以渤海租赁并购Avolon Holdings Limited的交易为例,渤海租赁在竞争性谈判中胜出的原因在于其较另一位对手报价中1.25亿美元的反向分手费大幅提高至3.5亿美元,且同意在并购协议签订后7个营业日内即将3.5亿美元存入托管账户 4。在缺乏反向分手费保险的情况下,这一做法将使得渤海租赁背水一战,置于死地,背负较大的风险。而在有反向分手费保险的情况下,则可以大幅减少渤海租赁的交易成本和压力。

三、谁为反向分手费保险保驾护航

反向分手费保险在缓解中国企业参与海外并购交易有关反向分手费的风险和成本的同时,却将风险转嫁到保险公司自身,如何甄别、缓解和减少保险公司自身的风险,也是其所面临的挑战,需要外部律师协助保险公司通过保单设计、交易范本条款推荐、承保前尽职调查等方式尽量减少保险公司所承担的风险。

  1. 保单设计

反向分手费保险产品自身的设计包括保险责任条款、免除责任条款、免赔额等重要内容。保险责任条款涉及所承保的风险范围,即发生哪些触发反向分手费情形可以纳入保险责任范围。对于保险公司而言,所纳入的触发情形越多则承担的风险越大,但如果太少则又会减少产品的吸引力,需要仔细论证斟酌。同时,保险责任条款还涉及所赔偿保险责任金额是否存在限额,以减少保险公司的风险,避免发生投保人的道德风险。免除责任条款涉及哪些情形作为例外免责情形,一般宜将被保险人自身存在过错的情形排除出去,例如被保险人自身违约导致支付反向分手费的情形。免赔额条款,可以和保险责任的限额相对应,由被保险人和保险公司共同承担反向分手费,体现风险共担原则。

  1. 交易范本条款推荐

保险公司可以开发有关反向分手费的交易范本条款,涵盖之前所提及的反向分手费触发情形、反向分手费金额确定、反向分手费的支付方式、反向分手费是否唯一的救济方式、反向分手费的支付担保等问题,推荐给作为投保人的中国企业使用,在同作为卖方的外国企业谈判过程中,尽量减少中国企业的风险,获得谈判优势地位,同时在后续反向分手费保险投保过程中获得优惠保费。

  1. 承保前尽职调查

外部律师可以参与保险公司就反向分手费保险承保前的尽职调查过程,就交易中的反向分手费条款安排、所可能面临的触发反向分手费情形(例如政府审批等)发生的可能性大小等作出评估,给保险公司提出法律意见,供保险公司就是否承保以及相关保险费率等重要方面参考并合理作出承保决策,有助于保险公司减少自身所承担的风险。

总之,反向分手费保险是一个新生事物,可以为中国企业参与海外并购交易解决分手所导致巨大风险和成本的后顾之忧,但其自身也需要外部律师积极参与其产品设计和承保过程,为反向分手费保险自身提供保驾护航作用。

Footnotes

1 《中国化工收购先正达启动在即 先正达分手费降至8.48亿美元》,江帆,2016-3-9,来源:http://www.jiemian.com/article/565892.html

2 《海尔和GE到底做了一个什么样的交易?》,Zhang Leslie,2016-1-20,来源:https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/20515074?columnSlug=uncleleslie

3 《蛇吞象!珠海民企260亿收购美国利盟100%股权》,南方日报,2016-11-30,来源:http://finance.sina.com.cn/stock/usstock/c/2016-11-30/doc-ifxyiayq1855464.shtml?cre=sinapc&mod=g

《海外并购几多愁?美国企业对中国买家约定反向分手费》,智通财经,2016-5-24,来源:http://news.10jqka.com.cn/20160524/c590498233.shtml

4 《渤海租赁收购爱尔兰飞机租赁公司》,凤凰财经综合, 2015-9-6,来源:http://finance.ifeng.com/a/20150906/13955956_0.shtml

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