Merger Without Assumption - 1992 ISDA Provision

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1992 ISDA Master Agreement
A Jolly Contrarian owner’s manual™

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Section 5(a)(viii) in a Nutshell

Use at your own risk, campers!

Full text of Section 5(a)(viii)

5(a)(viii) Merger Without Assumption. The party or any Credit Support Provider of such party consolidates or amalgamates with, or merges with or into, or transfers all or substantially all its assets to, another entity and, at the time of such consolidation, amalgamation, merger or transfer: —
5(a)(viii)(1) the resulting, surviving or transferee entity fails to assume all the obligations of such party or such Credit Support Provider under this Agreement or any Credit Support Document to which it or its predecessor was a party by operation of law or pursuant to an agreement reasonably satisfactory to the other party to this Agreement; or
5(a)(viii)(2) the benefits of any Credit Support Document fail to extend (without the consent of the other party) to the performance by such resulting, surviving or transferee entity of its obligations under this Agreement.

Related agreements and comparisons

Related Agreements
Click here for the text of Section 5(a)(viii) in the 2002 ISDA
Click to compare this section in the 1992 ISDA and 2002 ISDA.

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Content and comparisons

As the comparison illustrates (see panel below right), ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ giveth and ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ taketh away. As it neatly excises one square of flannel here, it inserts another one, further itemising ways in which a company might reorganise itself, there. In practical terms — ones that might make a difference were they to be considered by the Queen’s Bench Division, that is — no real change between 1992 ISDA and 2002 ISDA.



When a firm merges into, or is taken over by, another, some magical — or unexpected — things can happen. Not for nothing does the ISDA Master Agreement labour over the very description: that this might be a “consolidation, amalgamation, merger, transfer, reorganisation, reincorporation or reconstitution” — prolix even by the lofty standardsof ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ — should tell you something. Generations of corporate lawyers have forged whole careers — some never leaving the confines of their law practices for forty or more years — out of the manifold ways one can put companies together and take them apart again.

Your correspondent is not one of those people and has little more to say about mergers, except that what happens to live contracts at the time of such chicanery will depend a lot on just how the companies and their assets are being joined together or torn assunder.

If the ISDA Master Agreement and its extant Transactions carry across — which, in a plain merger, they ought to — all well and good - though watch out for traps: what if both merging companies have ISDAs with the same counterparty, but on markedly different terms? Which prevails? Do they both? Which one do you use for new Transactions? This you will have to hammer out across the negotiating table.

But in some cases, Transactions might not carry across. Perhaps the resulting entity has no power to transact swaps. Perhaps it is in a jurisdiction in which they — or ISDA’s sainted close-out netting provisions, about which so many tears and so much blood is annually spilled — cannot be enforced. Perhaps the new entity just refuses to honour them.

Merger Without Assumption addresses all of these contingencies.

This is the clause that would have been covered by Section 5(a)(ii)(2) repudiation, had the resulting entity accepted the contract at all in the first place. It can be triggered if the resulting party repudiates any outstanding Transactions under the ISDA Master Agreement (or otherwise they are not binding on it); or any Credit Support Document stops working as a result of the merger.


General discussion

Template:M gen 1992 ISDA 5(a)(viii)


See also

Template:M sa 1992 ISDA 5(a)(viii)