Administration followed by a Company Voluntary Arrangement
What would be the purpose of using an administrator to propose a CVA? The answer is control over aggressive creditor actions, protection from landlord actions and a moratorium to prevent future legal actions before a CVA can be proposed. Given that it can take several weeks to build a viable CVA proposal sometimes creditors may already have started legal actions such as issuing a winding up petition or distraint.
So it may be necessary to put the company into administration to protect it whilst the detailed forecasts and CVA proposals are prepared and to discuss the scheme with the bank and other critical creditors. Once a viable CVA scheme is ready it becomes the administrators CVA proposals not the directors. So in effect the CVA can be used as a method of exiting an administration.
The main reason your business might want to exit an administration is for reasons of cost and control. An administration is a powerful but expensive insolvency procedure. Powerful in that it can allow the business to trade and be sold if possible in a very short time scale if necessary. Expensive though, because the administrator has to run the company in place of the directors and has complete control of all the monies in and out of the business. They will also look at how to restructure the finances and one possible option is a CVA.
If a buyer cannot be found but the business is viable and it will maximize the interest of creditors then a CVA is an acceptable exit strategy. The CVA will hand back the business to the directors and the insolvency practitioner and his / her team will continue to monitor the CVA as supervisors.
So how does it work?
The IP, once appointed by the board, will put together an administration proposal and get external asset valuations and statement of affairs drawn up. After getting floating charge holders consent, the IP will make an application to the court stating the purpose of the administration. The company enters administration and all legal actions are stayed by the moratorium in place. The IP then calls a creditors meeting to report on his proposals for the administration and then he/she will prepare the CVA. The CVA will then be published to creditors (a minimum of) 14 days before a meeting is scheduled to vote on the proposal. If the CVA is approved by creditors the CVA starts. 28 days later the IP applies to the court to end the administration and usually becomes the supervisor.
The directors then get on with running the company under a CVA. Of course, they can exit a CVA early as well if they want. We have had a number of our clients do exactly that.