COVID-19 Newsroom

The pandemic and its effects on business in Finland.

Temporary framework for assessing cooperation between competitors in the combat against Covid-19

In April 2020, the European Commission published a communication regarding a temporary framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in order to ensure the supply and adequate distribution of essential scarce products and services during the Covid-19 outbreak. The framework concerns the products and services that are now under rapid and exponential growth of demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, notably medicines and medical equipment that are used to test and treat Covid-19 patients or that are necessary to mitigate and possibly overcome the outbreak. In its communication, the Commission emphasizes that the response to the emergency situation related to the Covid-19 crisis may require different degrees of cooperation, with a varying scale of potential competition concerns. Read more

Covid-19 and insolvency – update on temporary amendment of insolvency legislation

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, many undertakings are suffering from unexpected financial difficulties and, according to a recent survey, one third of Finnish companies worry of becoming insolvent. New insolvency legislation has not yet been enacted since the Covid-19 pandemic spread to Finland, but the Finnish government and authorities have expressed their concern regarding the potential wave of bankruptcies in the suite of the Covid-19 crisis. Below we list some of the efforts made by Finnish authorities to date in response to the feared wave of insolvencies. Read more

Preventing the spread of Covid-19 in Finland – temporary exceptions to rules regarding annual meetings of companies, co-operatives and associations

On 24 April 2020, Finnish Parliament enacted temporary legislation regarding exceptions to the statutory requirements for the annual meetings of companies, cooperatives and associations to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The law allows companies, cooperatives and associations to hold their statutory meetings despite the restrictions on gatherings resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic while complying with the current health protection requirements. The law entered into force as of 1 May 2020 and will remain in force until the end of September 2020. Read more

New temporary restrictions on interest rates and direct marketing of consumer loans

The Finnish government has on 23 April 2020 proposed certain amendments to the legislation on consumer loans due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to the government’s proposal, the applicable interest rate on consumer loans will be temporarily capped at 10 per cent instead of the current 20 per cent. Also, any direct marketing to consumers will be banned. These restrictions are planned to enter into force on 1 May 2020 and apply until 31 December 2020. Read more

Financing opportunities for mid-cap companies during the Covid-19 crisis

The Finnish government has recently increased business financing in order to ensure that companies may continue to operate profitably during and after the current Covid-19 crisis. At the date of this legal update, companies may, in addition to their own banks, apply for financing from the following institutions, depending on the type and size of the relevant company: Read more

COVID-19 Newsroom, News / 09.04.2020

Covid-19 forces changes to state financial aid for employers, employees and entrepreneurs

The Finnish labour market organizations have, on request by the Finnish Employment Minister, provided the Government with a number of proposals aimed at facilitating the lives of employers, employees and entrepreneurs who are currently, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, facing an unforeseen and though financial situation. The Parliament has supported many of these proposals and during the current week amendments to existing legislation as well as new acts have in this respect been approved by the Parliament, whereas some changes are still pending approval. Read more

Covid-19 and insolvency – update on proposed measures by authorities

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, many undertakings are suffering from unexpected financial difficulties and, according to a recent survey, one third of Finnish companies worry of becoming insolvent. New insolvency legislation has not yet been enacted since the Covid-19 pandemic spread to Finland, but the Finnish government and authorities have expressed their concern regarding the potential wave of bankruptcies in the suite of the Covid-19 crisis. Below we list some of the efforts made by Finnish authorities to date in response to the feared wave of insolvencies. Read more

Financial support for SMEs and mid-caps due to Covid-19

This is a summary of government initiatives to assist SMEs and mid-cap companies and covers financing offered, guarantees and grants as of 3 April 2020. References to the relevant government notices are set out under the relevant sections. Please see our COVID-19 related news in our COVID-19 Newsroom and kindly note that the below summary may be subject to changes as the government may take new actions to address the crisis. Read more

Covid-19: technical monitoring of remote work

The Covid-19 has forced many employers to enable opportunities for employees to work from home and many digital solutions are used to facilitate remote work performance. While there is technology available that can track every second of an employee’s working day, Finnish law, however, includes rather strict provisions on the use of such technology for employee monitoring purposes and any monitoring should, therefore, be carried out with caution. Read more

Covid-19 and Material Adverse Change Clauses

General

The global outbreak of the Corona virus (Covid-19) is heavily affecting both the current state of many businesses and their forward-looking prospects. The large degree of anxiety and uncertainty which the whole world is currently facing will, inevitably, also have implications on the m&a market.

In particular, deals involving regulatory aspects, such as merger control clearance, often entail that the signing and closing of the deal are separated from each other. Naturally, a longer interim period between signing and closing increases the level of risk which a buyer may face before closing the deal. In share purchase agreements, material adverse change clauses (MAC clauses), occasionally also defined as material adverse effect clauses (MAE clauses), usually aim to protect the buyer from circumstances having a negative impact on the target company, which may arise in the interim period between signing and closing. Given the Covid-19 virus crisis currently at hand, MAC clauses in share purchase agreements have, once again, been put under the spotlight. Read more

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