NETHERLANDS AS A GLOBAL FINANCE CENTRE
FEW jurisdictions can boast a foreign direct investment record like the Netherlands. As the world's seventh largest inward receiver of investments, housing approximately 9000
foreign-owned companies, the country's dynamic
business environment provides an invaluable insight
into macro investment trends.
WHAT IMPACT DID THE GLOBAL CREDIT CRISIS HAVE ON
THE NETHERLANDS CORPORATE FINANCE MARKET?
Initially, the impact of the crisis on the financing
markets was severe. Regular bank financing deals
almost came to a full stop, with the notable exception of
the restructuring of existing credit lines and/or
refinancing transactions. Securitizations and private
equity activity also ceased, although there were some
distressed debt and restructuring markets transactions
HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT RESPOND TO MAINTAIN
The Dutch government was quick to intervene to
stabilise the Dutch financial sector, which is significantly
the seventh largest financial centre in the world. Among
a number of measures taken, the state stepped in to
save some of the country's major banks and financing
houses. In the case of ABN AMRO, for example, it
acquired the entire share capital but it also extended
lifelines to ING, Fortis Nederland and AEGON.
Overall, clearly the mood has
shifted and, as before, the
Netherlands are open and ready
for business. We would be
delighted to advise anyone who
is in need of further information
on the Netherlands, its economic
climate and its legal
high level of spending on large infrastructure projects
involving private companies to bolster the economy.
Our government and business practice group has had
the privilege to assist on quite a number of these
projects. Meanwhile, the government has refrained
from large stimulus packages which would have run up
the national debt.
IS DEBT RESTRUCTURING STILL DRIVING THE MARKET OR
HAS M&A RETURNED TO PRIME POSITION?
We are still working on a number of debt restructurings,
but since the end of last year we have become
increasingly involved in acquisition financing and