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Prospektansvaret - Aktiebolagets och medverkande aktörers ansvar vid upprättandet av ett prospekt

Hahn, Simon LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
När aktier tas upp till handel på en reglerad marknad eller vid emissioner av aktier riktade till allmänheten ska ett prospekt upprättas. I det fall prospektet har varit vilseledande och de emitterade aktierna inte har det värde som har utlovas är det naturligt att tecknare av aktierna vill utkräva ansvar. Ansvar för fel eller brister i ett prospekt åligger enligt svensk rättspraxis inte det emitterande bolaget. Detta har motiverats med argumentet att ett bolags kapital skall skyddas och att utbetalning till aktieägare enligt ABL:s regler endast kan ske genom utdelning, minskning av aktiekapitalet eller reservfond samt utskiftning vid likvidation. Principen härstammar från ett avgörande daterat till mellankrigstiden.

Ansvar kan... (More)
När aktier tas upp till handel på en reglerad marknad eller vid emissioner av aktier riktade till allmänheten ska ett prospekt upprättas. I det fall prospektet har varit vilseledande och de emitterade aktierna inte har det värde som har utlovas är det naturligt att tecknare av aktierna vill utkräva ansvar. Ansvar för fel eller brister i ett prospekt åligger enligt svensk rättspraxis inte det emitterande bolaget. Detta har motiverats med argumentet att ett bolags kapital skall skyddas och att utbetalning till aktieägare enligt ABL:s regler endast kan ske genom utdelning, minskning av aktiekapitalet eller reservfond samt utskiftning vid likvidation. Principen härstammar från ett avgörande daterat till mellankrigstiden.

Ansvar kan utkrävas från bolagets företrädare, detta är dock oftast inte tillräckligt eftersom en företrädare måste ha agerat med uppsåt eller vårdslöst för att bli ålagd ansvar. Vidare kan sådana skadeståndskrav figurera i belopp som en företrädares ansvarsförsäkring inte är i närheten av.

Det har länge i svensk doktrin diskuterats en möjlighet att utkräva ansvar från de aktörer som medverkat till upprättandet av prospektet. Praxis har dock inte i denna fråga givit några entydiga svar. Ett HD avgörande i slutet av 1980-talet öppnade för ett medverkandeansvar men senare avgöranden i hovrätt har inte lett till något definitivt avgörande i frågan. Rättsläget avseende medverkande aktörer måste därför anses oklart.

Att ett emitterande bolag inte kan åläggas ansvar för fel i prospekt leder till att en problematisk situation uppkommer i det fall ett värdepappersinstitut agerat underwriter och garanterat en emission genom att teckna samtliga aktier för att sedan direkt vidaresälja dem. I det läget kan värdepappersinstitutet inte enligt svensk rätt utkräva ansvar från det emitterande bolaget för fel eller brister i prospektet. En slutsats av uppsatsen är att ett antal avtalskonstruktioner som kan tänkas möjliggöra för ett emitterande bolag att i teorin ge ett värdepappersinstitut skadelöshet i en sådan situation. (Less)
Abstract
A prospectus shall according to Swedish law be produced when a company undergoes an initial public offering (IPO) or when shares are issued to the public. It is only natural for subscribers of shares to want compensation if the prospectus has been misleading and the issued shares are not worth what was promised. An issuing company is not, however, inflicted with liability for errors or omissions in a prospectus according to Swedish law. The motivation for the principle above is that a company’s capital shall be protected and that an imbursement to shareholders according to the Swedish Companies Act only can occur through dividends, a reduction of the share capital or the reserve fund and distribution upon liquidation. The principle is... (More)
A prospectus shall according to Swedish law be produced when a company undergoes an initial public offering (IPO) or when shares are issued to the public. It is only natural for subscribers of shares to want compensation if the prospectus has been misleading and the issued shares are not worth what was promised. An issuing company is not, however, inflicted with liability for errors or omissions in a prospectus according to Swedish law. The motivation for the principle above is that a company’s capital shall be protected and that an imbursement to shareholders according to the Swedish Companies Act only can occur through dividends, a reduction of the share capital or the reserve fund and distribution upon liquidation. The principle is supported by pre-WWII era case law.

Company representatives can be found liable, though this is often not enough due to the fact that a representative must be found to have acted with intent or negligence to be held liable. Such claims can furthermore be in amounts that a representative’s liability insurance simply does not cover.

An on-going discussion has been held in the Swedish doctrine about the possibility to hold a participating part liable for errors or omissions in a prospectus. Swedish case law has not given any clear answers regarding this question though. A ruling from the Swedish Supreme Court (Swe. Högsta domstolen) in the late 1980s supported the notion but later rulings in lesser courts have not led to a conclusive answer in the matter. The current legal state of this question must be considered uncertain.


The fact that a company cannot be hold liable towards its’ shareholders for errors or omissions in a prospectus leads to a problematic situation regarding when an investment bank acts as an underwriter and subscribes for all the shares issued with the notion to then directly resell them. The underwriter cannot in that situation ask for indemnities regarding the correctness of the prospectus from the issuing company. A part of the conclusion of this thesis is different contractual arrangements that in theory enables an issuing company to give indemnities to an underwriter in the above-mentioned situation, but they are yet unproven in court. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hahn, Simon LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Prospectus liability - Liability for the issuing company and other parties involved
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
associationsrätt, finansrätt, komparativ rätt.
language
Swedish
id
3567596
date added to LUP
2013-05-13 12:51:58
date last changed
2013-05-13 12:51:58
@misc{3567596,
  abstract     = {A prospectus shall according to Swedish law be produced when a company undergoes an initial public offering (IPO) or when shares are issued to the public. It is only natural for subscribers of shares to want compensation if the prospectus has been misleading and the issued shares are not worth what was promised. An issuing company is not, however, inflicted with liability for errors or omissions in a prospectus according to Swedish law. The motivation for the principle above is that a company’s capital shall be protected and that an imbursement to shareholders according to the Swedish Companies Act only can occur through dividends, a reduction of the share capital or the reserve fund and distribution upon liquidation. The principle is supported by pre-WWII era case law.

Company representatives can be found liable, though this is often not enough due to the fact that a representative must be found to have acted with intent or negligence to be held liable. Such claims can furthermore be in amounts that a representative’s liability insurance simply does not cover. 

An on-going discussion has been held in the Swedish doctrine about the possibility to hold a participating part liable for errors or omissions in a prospectus. Swedish case law has not given any clear answers regarding this question though. A ruling from the Swedish Supreme Court (Swe. Högsta domstolen) in the late 1980s supported the notion but later rulings in lesser courts have not led to a conclusive answer in the matter. The current legal state of this question must be considered uncertain.


The fact that a company cannot be hold liable towards its’ shareholders for errors or omissions in a prospectus leads to a problematic situation regarding when an investment bank acts as an underwriter and subscribes for all the shares issued with the notion to then directly resell them. The underwriter cannot in that situation ask for indemnities regarding the correctness of the prospectus from the issuing company. A part of the conclusion of this thesis is different contractual arrangements that in theory enables an issuing company to give indemnities to an underwriter in the above-mentioned situation, but they are yet unproven in court.},
  author       = {Hahn, Simon},
  keyword      = {associationsrätt,finansrätt,komparativ rätt.},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Prospektansvaret - Aktiebolagets och medverkande aktörers ansvar vid upprättandet av ett prospekt},
  year         = {2013},
}