The Private Privak was introduced fifteen years ago (Law of 22 April 2003) with the aim of providing an investment vehicle that, for the benefit of private shareholders and others, could invest in unquoted companies in a tax-friendly manner.
To this end, the Private Privak combined the benefits of tax transparency with legal personality. This legal personality was intended to enable a professional and collective management of the invested funds.
However, in practice, the Private Privak proved to lack the necessary flexibility and has not been very successful.
Taking into account the specific wishes and needs expressed by professional investors and by the Private Equity sector, the legislator has recently made the regulatory and tax status of the Private Privak more attractive (Law of 26 March 2018 and Royal Decree of 8 May 2018). These changes aim to grant the Private Privak a similar legal status and tax benefits as those enjoyed by foreign investment funds.
The less stringent regulatory framework and the more favourable tax regime applying to the Private Privak and its investors should encourage an increased use of Private Privaks by Belgian and foreign investors. In this respect, one should also consider that the Private Privak can benefit from the important network of tax treaties concluded by Belgium, as a result of which the Private Privak is also an opportunity for wealthy foreign investors.