Although not specifically regulated by law, option rights are recognised as a scope for formative action in contract law. An option right is interpreted as the right to cause a contract to materialise by a unilateral statement of intent. It is therefore to be regarded as a formative right and differs from a preliminary contract to this extent. Whereas a preliminary contract gives the parties a right to conclude a main contract, an option right gives the party to whom it is granted the right to initiate such contract by means of a unilateral declaration. The grant of an option right is possible in a variety of ways and is always oriented to the intended purpose.

In addition to the commitment involved for the grantor of the option, such grants also enter into further procedural obligations. In view of the fact that the aim and object of the grant of the option right would be defeated if the grantor were able to prevent or frustrate the exercise of the said option right at his/its discretion, the grantor is obliged to ensure that the option can be exercised in line with its original scope. If the option grantor breaches the aforesaid obligation, compensation claims under =A7=A7 325 ff. and claims for a positive breach of contract may be enforced in full against the grantor.

For further information please contact Dr Erich Michel, Wessing Berenberg-Gossler Zimmermann Lange, Freiherr-Vom-Stein-Strasse 24-26, Frankfurt am Maim 60323, Frankfurt, Germany- Tel: +496 997 1300, Fax: +496 997 130100.

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