Società per azioni (S.p.A. or spa) is a form of corporation in Italy, meaning "company with shares" (although often translated as "joint-stock company", which may or may not be a limited liability entity). It is more or less equivalent to S.A. or public limited company (Plc) in other countries.
The other common form of corporation in Italy was società a responsabilità limitata (S.r.l.) (literally: limited liability company). S.p.A. issued shares (Italian: azioni), while in S.r.l. the unit was quote/stock of share capital. Moreover, the articles of association of S.r.l. allowed different allocation of profit and assets, which was more comparable to a limited partnership.
Since 2016, banks are required to run as S.p.A. if their assets are more than a defined threshold. This saw the blue chips of the FTSE MIB Index: Banco BPM, BPER Banca, UBI Banca, demutualized from S.c.p.a., S.c. a.r.l., or S.c. legal forms (respectively, co-operative company by shares, co-operative company with limited liability, and co-operative company).
- "A Review of Italian and UK Company Law" (PDF). ACCA. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
- Italian Law №3 of 2015