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State aid and privatisation: An overview of EU and national case law

Introduction Privatisation is the transfer of ownership of state assets to private concerns. Normally, privatisation is effected through an act of sale for a certain sum that reflects the value of the assets. This is the typical case when the assets have a certain positive value. However, when the public asset is a heavily indebted enterprise, privatisation may also take place through sale for a nominal amount [EUR 1] or even a “negative” price [i.e. the state incurs pre-sale costs that exceed the revenue generated by the sale or the state pays an amount to a private concern to accept ownership of the indebted enterprise]. This is because, normally, transfer of ownership covers both the assets and the liabilities of a public enterprise. In case the public enterprise is in financial

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Phedon Nicolaides, State aid and privatisation: An overview of EU and national case law, 20 May 2014, e-Competitions Bulletin State aid and privatisation, Art. N° 66422

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