Business recovery professionals are involved with bringing companies through financial crisis’s, either by turning things around, or dealing with insolvency and liquidation. They can act on behalf of the company itself, to help it through troubled times, or they may act on behalf of creditors, keen to see at least some of their investment returned.
They generally become involved where a company is technically insolvent, meaning it is losing money and unviable, and is unable to pay its creditors, though may have an aspect of the business that is potentially viable. They are more commonly known as Insolvency Practitioners and must be licensed and are regulated by the Insolvency Act of 1986.
Business Recovery options
When people think about insolvency they often think of liquidation, though this is not the only option. One of the first options a Business Recovery professional may suggest is for a company to enter what is termed as a Company Voluntary Agreement, also known as a CVA. This is a process entered into voluntarily by a Company’s Directors and enables them to make an agreement with its creditors to repay all or part of its debts, within a given period of time. The insolvency practitioner will prepare a proposal containing all of the up to date and relevant information concerning a company’s position. This includes how the problem has arisen, its financial assets and liabilities and outline projections of what the company is able to repay and over what time frame. If 75% of the creditors, by debt value, agree, along with all company Directors, the CVA can be implemented.
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation occurs when a Company’s Directors hold a meeting to agree that the firm should be placed into liquidation. A licensed Insolvency practitioner is appointed and subsequently agreed upon by the creditors. It is the liquidator’s job to realise the assets of the company, investigate its affairs, report on any wrongdoing and distribute available funds to creditors in relevant priority. Benefits it provide include relieving the Directors from ongoing responsibility for the company, the risk of creditor claims of wrongful trading, with monies owed to staff, being met by the Redundancy Payments Act. The business as a whole, along with its assets can be purchased from the liquidator, without the liabilities of the company.
Compulsory liquidation occurs when a court has issued a winding up order, following a petition from the company, its Directors, shareholders or a creditor. There are a number of circumstances when this can be done, but generally speaking it happens when a company is unable to meet its financial obligations, as and when they become due. The liquidator, who can be either the Official Receiver, or a liquidator appointed by the shareholders or creditors. His principal concern is the realisation of the company’s’ assets and the verification and agreement of creditors’ claims. The company and its activity, may at the same time be investigated by the Official Receiver. This may well be the cheapest option for the Directors in winding up the company.
When a company is facing financial difficulties, discussing them early with the local Business recovery experts, will provide the best opportunity to explore available options, while increasing your chances of avoiding or coming through insolvency.