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What if a CVA is rejected?

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A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is suitable for companies who require a legally binding payment plan. When in place, it allows a company to repay its debts in an affordable manner helping secure its future. The arrangement requires approval from 75% of creditors by value, and if they don’t feel they would get an adequate return, they can vote it down. So, what if your CVA proposal is rejected?

More information on Company Voluntary Arrangements

Why would a CVA be rejected?

Although many CVAs are approved, creditors may want more of a return than what the CVA offers. They could dislike some of the CVA’s terms; they might have an issue with debt being written off, or be unconvinced that the company will adhere to the repayment plan; as they may have defaulted on informal repayment plans in the past. Failing to convince creditors the CVA is the best course of action would result in it being rejected.

Even if a large number of the creditors agree to the CVA, if the proposal doesn’t receive approval from 75% of creditors by value, it will be rejected.

Advantages and disadvantages of a CVA

cva is rejected

What are my options if my CVA is rejected?

Although the rejection of a CVA proposal isn’t the desired outcome, it doesn’t automatically mean the company will cease to be. However, it does mean the company will have to pursue further insolvency options. If this happens, which route you take will ultimately depend on the outcome you desire, and what returns the best result to creditors.

Company recovery

CVAs aren’t always suitable for a company, and this could be for several reasons: Either the debt may be too severe for the CVA to be viable, or the business could benefit from more extensive restructuring. Whatever the situation, you can explore alternative arrangements to allow the company to recover.

Company administration

Administration is an option for companies with lots of assets that can be used to raise funds to enable a period of trade to either try and resolve the company’s issues or sell the business or assets. In an administration, a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) will take control of the company, and your responsibilities as a director will cease.

More information on administration

Pre-pack administration

Pre-pack administration follows the same concept as company administration, but pre-packing the sale of assets signifies that you wish to repurchase your assets to restart the business as a new company. Doing this is legal, as long as the purchase is fair and transparent, and your offer represents the best outcome to creditors.

More on pre-pack administration

Due to previous abuse of pre-pack administration, it can only go ahead if it delivers the best outcome for company creditors.

Company closure

Sometimes a company’s debt or pressure from its creditors can be so severe that continuing isn’t feasible. In which case, the company may be better off closing than trying to carry on trading.

Creditor’s Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is for directors who don’t wish to take their company further and would rather wind it up and close it. An IP will realise and liquidate the assets, with the company debt put to bed with the subsequent dissolution. Employees will be made redundant during this procedure. Although directors are allowed to start a new company afterwards, there are limits on the use of trading styles. The liquidator is obliged to conduct a report on the conduct of the directors leading up to the liquidation.

More information on Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

Pre-pack liquidation

If your core business has the potential to be profitable without its burdensome debts, you can explore a pre-pack liquidation. Similar to a pre-pack administration, the assets are sold to a new company – ‘newco’ starts trading, and the old company is liquidated. Assets, premises and staff can be transferred to the new company, which can continue without the old company’s debts. Creditors may see more of a return than if the company went into compulsory liquidation.

More information on pre-pack liquidation

In summary

Although a CVA is a viable course of action for many companies looking to repay their liabilities at an affordable rate, it requires approval from creditors before it can go through. Creditors can reject a CVA if they don’t agree with the terms, aren’t convinced you’ll be able to complete the payments, or if a high enough percentage of creditors don’t approve it. Once a CVA’s rejected, the company should pursue other insolvency procedures to avoid a winding-up petition and compulsory liquidation. Avenues open to you depend on your circumstances; these could include restructuring through company administration, pre-pack administration or voluntarily winding-up through a CVL.

How we can help

If your company is insolvent and is considering a CVA, contact us as soon as possible. Our team can offer you advice on your current situation, and help you understand the CVA application process. If we feel a CVA would be appropriate for your company and provide the best return, we can put together a proposal for your creditors. If a CVA is rejected or has failed we can advise you which alternative insolvency procedures would be most beneficial.

Authored by Ruth Jacks

Ruth Jacks

Associate & Compliance Manager

Beverley Horton Christopher Callaghan Stephen Hall

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