Die bepaling van die ‘sentrum van hoofbelange’ by oorgrens insolvensies: Is die Parmalat-benadering voldoende om die behoeftes van moderne handel te bevredig?
Despite various viewpoints on the determination of the centre of main interest (COMI), the legal question in this investigation is whether, and to what extent, the approach in In re Eurofood IFSC Ltd (the Parmalat case) brings about an effective solution for the determination of the location of the COMI of individual companies, either unattached or as part of a group (in contrast with companies forming a so called economic unit). There exists a presumption that the COMI is situated there where the company’s registered office is. This is the physical factor in determining the COMI. There is also a mental or psychological factor. The COMI must correspond with the place which third parties (including foreigners) regard as the place where the debtor ordinarily manages its business and most prominent interests on a regular basis. If the registered office is situated at one place and the judgment of third parties with regard to the COMI is elsewhere, the presumption will not come into operation and the ordinary onus of proof will rest on the party concerned. If the subsidiary’s registered office and the opinion of third parties point to the same location (in order for the presumption to come into operation) the holding company should lead more substantial evidence so as to rebut the presumption. The presumption shall not be rebutted easily. An essential and delicate process of weighing up relevant factors should take place. The COMI must be identified with reference to criteria which are objectively foreseeable by all parties involved.