Italy: Restructuring & Insolvency Law Alert - March 2014 (In Italian)

Last Updated: 18 March 2014
Article by Daniela Andreatta

DECRETO DESTINAZIONE ITALIA: LA STRADA DEL CONCORDATO SI FA PIU' DIFFICILE PER IL DEBITORE

Il 21 febbraio 2014 è stato convertito in legge, con modificazioni, il decreto legge 145/2013 recante interventi urgenti di avvio del piano "Destinazione Italia" (il "Decreto Destinazione Italia"). Il Decreto Destinazione Italia include tra l'altro disposizioni in merito (i) alla prededucibilità dei crediti sorti in funzione o in occasione del concordato "in bianco"; (ii) all'affitto/cessione dell'azienda del debitore o alla cessione dei suoi beni nell'ambito del concordato; (iii) alla partecipazione a procedure di affidamento di contratti pubblici nell'ambito del concordato in continuità.

(i) Prededucibilità dei crediti sorti in occasione o in funzione del concordato "in bianco"

Il Decreto Destinazione Italia fornisce un'interpretazione autentica dell'articolo 111, seconda comma, R.D. 267/1942 ("LF") (in tema di crediti in prededuzione) con riferimento ai crediti sorti in occasione o in funzione del concordato "in bianco".

Dice il Decreto che relativamente alla procedura di concordato "in bianco" l'articolo 111, secondo comma, LF deve essere inteso nel senso che la prededuzione spetta ai crediti sorti in occasione o in funzione del concordato "in bianco" solo a condizione che (i) la proposta di concordato preventivo (completa) ex articolo 161 LF sia presentata entro il termine, eventualmente prorogato, fissato dal giudice e che (ii) il debitore sia formalmente ammesso alla procedura di concordato preventivo ex articolo 163 LF senza soluzione di continuità rispetto alla domanda di concordato "in bianco".

Lo scopo della norma è evidentemente quello di depotenziare lo strumento del concordato "in bianco" che da quando è stato introdotto (giugno 2012) è divenuto bersaglio di critiche continue da parte dei Tribunali a causa degli abusi a cui lo strumento ha prestato il fianco tanto da essere già stato modificato con il Decreto del Fare del giugno 2013.

La soluzione migliore sarebbe sanzionare gli abusi e mantenere un istituto che è utile per risanare l'impresa e che è previsto in tanti altri ordinamenti. Nelle intenzioni del legislatore del 2012 il concordato "in bianco" era finalizzato a supportare l'impresa nella fase di risanamento da un parte offrendo all'imprenditore un ombrello protettivo contro possibili azioni esecutive dei creditori e dall'altro incentivando gli operatori a continuare a lavorare con l'impresa in crisi attraverso la prededuzione dei loro crediti. Ora che con il Decreto Destinazione Italia la prededuzione non è più certa, è dubitabile che ci siano fornitori disposti a rischiare il pagamento dei loro crediti per sostenere il risanamento del loro cliente in difficoltà con la conseguenza che conservare la continuità aziendale diventerà ancora più difficile.

(ii) Affitto/cessione dell'azienda del debitore o di suoi beni nell'ambito della procedura di concordato

Il Decreto Destinazione Italia è intervenuto anche in merito alla disciplina dell'affitto e della cessione dell'azienda e più in generale della cessione dei beni del debitore nell'ambito di procedure concorsuali.

L'articolo 11, comma 2, del Decreto Destinazione Italia ha infatti stabilito che nel caso di affitto o di vendita di aziende, rami d'azienda o complessi di beni e contratti di imprese sottoposte a concordato preventivo (ma la norma si applica anche ai casi di vendite nell'ambito di procedure di fallimento, amministrazione straordinaria o liquidazione coatta amministrativa) hanno diritto di prelazione per l'affitto o per l'acquisto le società cooperative costituite da lavoratori dipendenti dell'impresa sottoposta alla procedura.

La modifica, lodevole nelle sue intenzioni, non facilita il successo delle procedure di concordato e si affianca al recente orientamento della giurisprudenza volto a consentire cessioni di azienda o rami d'azienda in contesti concordatari solo a seguito di procedure di gara (anche informale).

Il debitore che si appresta a presentare una domanda di concordato preventivo usualmente ricerca i potenziali acquirenti dell'azienda prima di accedere alla procedura in modo da assicurarsi la fattibilità del piano. Se nel corso della procedura l'azienda viene messa "all'asta" o può essere prelazionata dai dipendenti è chiaro che i potenziali acquirenti saranno meno propensi a spendere il tempo e il denaro necessario per analizzare l'azienda e decidere se acquistarla.

La prassi sta elaborando soluzioni giuridiche che consentano di "indennizzare" il potenziale acquirente preconcordato dei costi conseguenti all'eventuale aggiudicazione dell'azienda a terzi in sede di gara, ma certo il percorso concordatario si fa più impervio.

(iii) Condizioni per la partecipazione a procedure di affidamento di contratti pubblici nell'ambito del concordato in continuità.

Infine, l'ultima novità in tema di concordato preventivo portata dal Decreto Destinazione Italia riguarda la partecipazione a procedure di affidamento di contratti pubblici da parte di società ammesse alla procedura di concordato in continuità.

Sino al Decreto Destinazione Italia per partecipare a tali procedure una società in concordato doveva presentare in gara (i) la relazione dell'esperto attestante che la partecipazione alla procedura di affidamento era conforme al piano e che il debitore era ragionevolmente capace di adempiere il relativo contratto e (ii) l'impegno di un altro operatore a mettere a disposizione le risorse necessarie all'esecuzione del contratto o a subentrare al debitore nel caso di fallimento di quest'ultimo.

Con il Decreto Destinazione Italia è stato aggiunto che a seguito della presentazione della domanda di concordato (ovviamente in continuità) "...la partecipazione a procedure di affidamento di contratti pubblici deve essere autorizzata dal tribunale, acquisito il parere del commissario giudiziale, se nominato; in mancanza di tale nomina, provvede il tribunale".

La modifica nasce con ogni probabilità dalla diffidenza verso la capacità dell'impresa e dell'esperto di accertare la sostenibilità economica e finanziaria di un nuovo contratto di appalto in capo all'impresa in crisi. Anche in questo caso però la soluzione migliore sarebbe reprimere gli abusi o gli errori che hanno generato quella diffidenza senza estendere il perimetro di intervento del Tribunale.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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