On 14 December 2010 the English Court sanctioned four connected schemes of arrangement for German companies in the Tele Columbus group.

These schemes dealt with a restructuring which involved a partial debt for equity swap, amendments to the terms of the senior, second lien and mezzanine debt, and the raising of new finance. The documentation was governed by English law and the Court was satisfied that there was a sufficient connection with England and Wales. In addition, expert evidence showed that the amendments to the documentation effected by the schemes would be recognised by the German Courts as a matter of German private international law, as the financing documents were governed by English law.

Although the companies involved in the schemes are not in the insurance sector, the Tele Columbus case is a further illustration of both the ability of the English Court to approve schemes of arrangement for foreign companies, and also the necessary degree of connection with England.

This case is by way of contrast to the decision in the German Court (believed to be under appeal) concerning the Equitable Life scheme (a scheme for an English life insurance company which had been sanctioned by the English Court) where a German policy holder, whose policy was governed by German law, objected and the German Court refused to recognise the English scheme.