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What is an Independent Business Review (IBR) ?

17th February, 2021
Keith Steven

Written ByKeith Steven

Managing Director

07879 555349

Keith is the author of the content on this comprehensive rescue, turnaround and insolvency website. He is the managing director of KSA Group Ltd - a specialist firm of turnaround and licensed insolvency practitioners. Keith was nominated for Turnaround Practitioner of the Year 2014 at the National Insolvency and Rescue Awards in 2014.

Keith Steven
  • Who asks for an Independent Business Review?
  • What information is required for an Independent Business Review?

An independent business review (IBR) is often required when an outside party, usually a secured lender or funder, believes that a company or group of companies is showing signs of entering a distressed or insolvent state.

Who asks for an Independent Business Review?

The bank or investors will often be concerned that the information flow from management is not good, or fast enough and so they may ask to send in experts in corporate finance and insolvency to establish the solvency of the viability and value of the business. The review usually looks at market, management and money aspects too.

This may happen when the lender is worried that their lending is at risk, or the company is at risk of collapse. Occasionally, the bank will be concerned that management are not reacting fast enough to challenges and business or creditor threats. It is usually carried out by the insolvency department of an established large accounting practice, possibly along with colleagues from a corporate finance or perhaps their turnaround department.

Although the IBR is used to report directly to the lender, it is the company that pays for it. Given that it needs to be a thorough assessment of the business’s financial situation, the process can cost anywhere between £12-50,000 depending on the size of the company or group complexities. However, the IBR should also help the company to identify areas that need attention and may give the funder a better peace of mind. Should the results be favourable the borrower may be able to continue with current or even increased borrowing facilities.  There will need to be a business recovery plan and that recovery plan needs to be credible and in essence vetted by the IBR authors.

If the results are not favourable, then the process can often lead to the AMA or accelerated mergers and acquisition process . Please be sure to read the AMA guide next, as it is vital to understand how banks can effectively allow the IBR team (or an independent insolvency practitioner) to move to take control of the insolvency process. Directors can quickly find that they’re no longer in real control of the destiny of the company.

What information is required for an Independent Business Review?

  • current trading and financial position;
  • current balance sheet and risks to asset values;
  • profit and cash flow projections; if the company don’t have these then they will work to produce detailed models for an extra fee;
  • business and financial strategies;
  • the business plan, the marketing plan and management’s plans to deal with threats;
  • management ability, SWOT and systems, possible management gaps and possible improvements
  • sensitivity analyses on all forecasts;
  • management ability, SWOT and systems;
  • the marketplace and competition;
  • corporate and group structure;
  • bank security cover; and they will need to produce a statement of affairs for the likely insolvency outcome;
  • This will show the comparison of outcome for the bank or lenders, should the company enter administration #;
  • It is likely that an external valuation will be required to support the SOFA production;
  • The review will conclude with a recommendation to the lenders to either continue to support the management to restructure the business or to move to an accelerated mergers and acquisition process.

As you can see it will be a very comprehensive report on the business, the company and the management. The management team will be required to take part in the process but may not be shown the final section of the report that contains the recommendations to the lender. The report may lead to the funder appointing administrators to protect their debt position. This administrator may, or may not be, the firm that carried out the independent business review.

If you think your business or companies may be in difficulty, we can look at the options at a free face to face initial meeting followed by a solutions report (for which we do not charge). This report mainly establishes whether the business is insolvent or not and looks at the position of all of the creditors. As such it can advise on the options and give you a way forward.

The recommendation in our solutions report may be that THE COMPANY appoints KSA Group (who operate  to prepare the IBR – independent business review –  for the board. This can be a hugely powerful tool to then meet with lenders and creditors to set out the TURNAROUND plan.  This would be supported by an IBR prepared by a firm of licensed insolvency and turnaround practitioners. This looks positive and proactive to the lenders – demonstrably management is acting quickly and taking professional advice.

It goes without saying that most boards take FAR TOO LONG to act, when the company starts to enter the distressed phase, so we would always recommend being proactive in a recovery scenario.

If your lender is suggesting you need an IBR, call Gary Weber, our national turnaround manager on 07739 325008 or Sarah Massey on 0800 9700539 if you would like to arrange a free initial assessment meeting.

I am a lender and would like a company like KSA Group to do a review of the business!

Worried Director What Will Happen To Me After Liquidation?

in Company Liquidation What is …?

"A man in the pub said I cannot be a director of any other company if I liquidate my company. Is this true?"Actually, this statement is entirely false! Misconceptions like this frequently arise from individuals with limited understanding of the subject matter. Such misinformation can cause undue anxiety for directors considering liquidation, fearing it might personally affect them. Guess what? Listening to bar room experts, inexperienced accountants, or no insolvency specialist lawyers can stop decisions being made, this failure to make a decision is really what could land you in trouble. So how will liquidation affect me and how long does it take? Having a limited liability company means that the directors have little risk (or limited liability) if the company fails, as long as they have acted properly and acted in time. What is more, if as a director, you have been compliant and on the payroll for many years, you can actually claim redundancy from the government like any other employee. But, and it is a big but, if you fail to act in time, fail to act reasonably, fail to keep books and records, continue taking credit KNOWING that the company cannot possibly repay it, then you ARE at risk of personal financial loss or worse such as losing your house. So, act now and get help for your company and more importantly start reducing your own risks.Voluntary liquidation is the quickest most efficient way to deal with an insolvent company that has no future. As a director of an insolvent company, you are at risk if you do not act. This risk RISES the longer you don't act to put the company into liquidation.If you fail to act and the company is wound up by the creditors (compulsory liquidation) then the Official Receiver (OR) will be appointed to liquidate the business and he or she will investigate the activity of the directors and the business over the last 2-3 years. This is known as a conduct report on each director.  If the OR can prove there was wrongful trading where, for instance, you have taken credit from a supplier or took deposits from customers when you knew that it was highly unlikely that you could pay them back, then you could be made personally liable.This is known as the "lifting of the veil of incorporation" that protects directors under limited liability. If this happens then you could made liable for PAYE, VAT and creditors monies from the time that you should have known the company had no reasonable prospect of surviving the problems it faced.Additionally, the directors may face disqualification proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 for up to 15 years, they can be fined and may face the loss of personal assets like your home, or even personal bankruptcy.Look, if you as directors have acted naively you may not know that you have broken these laws, but now you do know, it is vital to ensure that you protect yourself as a director by acting quickly to cease trading and put the company into voluntary liquidation; or consider a company voluntary arrangement if the company is VIABLE if the problems are solved. What is Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and what does it mean for me? In short, liquidation usually means, the company's trading stops and it's assets are turned into cash or "liquidated".All other possible liabilities, like employment liabilities, landlord's rent or payments to lease companies are stopped. It really is the end of the company, but the "business" may survive if a phoenix is organised. Liquidation is a powerful way to END creditor pressure and let you get on with your life. What if I have signed personal guarantees? If you have signed personal guarantees or indemnities to lenders, then the liquidation could lead to them being called in if the bank cannot get its money back from the company. There is little that can be done about that, but you should not delay decisions on liquidation to try and prevent a PG being called in: just think what ALL of the company's debts landing on your shoulders would do. Also it should be noted that HMRC now rank ahead of floating charge holders in any liquidation since December 2020.  Consequently, this may well mean that lenders that you have personally guaranteed will get less recovery hence exposing you more.All banks will agree a deal to repay the PG over time - provided you work with the bank to reduce their exposure.One great piece of FREE advice - always make sure that ALL tax returns, VAT returns and annual returns have been completed and sent in and that other "compliance" issues are dealt with wherever possible. These are important processes and will help protect you as individual directors. It shows that you have been acting properly.  I have heard about directors being able to claim redundancy in liquidation If you have been employed by the company and made payments via PAYE then you will be able to claim redundancy from the government and this is in fact a very simple process (20 minutes to fill out a form and we can help with that) so there is no need really to employ a third party to make a claim.  This process has been open to fraud so the HMRC are cracking down on operators that claim to be able to get money back when there is not enough "paperwork".  It isn't worth the risk.  If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!You need to learn more about the options. This is clearly a general guide so, if you have any worries at all, please, just call us and we will talk you through the situation free and with expert guidance for your situation. Call one of our advisors or if you prefer, call our IPs (insolvency practitioners) now:Just one CALL will help relieve the stress and get you out of the mess.Why not call 08009700539 or 020 7887 2667 now?We could help you start the liquidation process today.(8.15am till 5.00pm; Out of hours call on 07833 240747, Wayne Harrison (IP)  or Eric Walls (IP) on 07787 278527)Finally, please remember this: NO BUSINESS is worth losing your health, relationships, marriages or your children over. Act properly, take advice, get the problem sorted and then get on with your life. In a little while the stress will go and you can focus on other things that are more important.Want more information on liquidation? Get our new free 2023 Experts Complete Guide to Creditors Voluntary Liquidation that covers Bounce Back LoansWe are experts in liquidation, voluntary liquidation, administration, pre-pack administration, business rescue, corporate rescue and company rescue, we can help solve your problems but only if you talk to us. Call 0800 9700539 for help.or email us your worries at 

Worried Director What Will Happen To Me After Liquidation?

Notice of Intention To Appoint Administrators

A notice of intention to appoint administrators is when the company files a document to the court to outline that it intends to go into administration if a solution cannot be found to its immediate financial problems. It can be used as part of the pre-pack administration process as well as used to restructure a failing business to avoid its liquidation.

Notice of Intention To Appoint Administrators
Man with umbrella

What Is A Winding Up Petition By HMRC or Other Creditor

A winding up petition is a legal notice put forward to the court by a creditor. The creditor petitions to the court if they are owed more than £750 and it has not been paid for more than 21 days. The application, in effect, asks the court to liquidate the company as they believe the company is insolvent.

What Is A Winding Up Petition By HMRC or Other Creditor

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