What is a CVA?

A Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) is an agreement between the insolvent company and its creditors.

Who is it for?

A CVA is for limited companies with temporary cash flow difficulties, perhaps seeking to recover from the effects of a one-off incident such as a significant bad debt, proprietor illness or change of marketplace. Companies should be able to demonstrate that normal business patterns have been resumed and it has an ability to repay its creditors over time.

How can Chamberlain & Co help?

The company will need to instruct an insolvency practitioner such as Chamberlain & Co to advise the directors on the most appropriate course of action. If CVA is the chosen option a licensed insolvency practitioner from Chamberlain & Co can be appointed as Nominee to assist the directors to draft the proposal, call and hold the creditors meeting and subsequently be appointed the Supervisor, if approved by the creditors.

The Process

  • It is a rescue procedure.
  • A CVA is usually made in full and final satisfaction of creditors’ claims against the company.
  • The proposal is usually made by the directors, but can be made by an administrator or liquidator.
  • The proposal is considered by an insolvency practitioner appointed as nominee. His report on the proposal and the proposal, itself, are then put to creditors’ and a decision of creditors’ is sought.
  • The arrangement may be approved without alteration, rejected or approved subject to modifications proposed and agreed during the decision process.
  • If the creditors approve the arrangement, all creditors who had notice and who could vote at that meeting are bound by the arrangement, as are any creditors who would have been entitled to vote at the meeting had they had notice of it.
  • The approval of the arrangement can be challenged in court within 28 days of the creditors’ decision for material irregularity.
  • Unless the approval of the arrangement is successfully challenged, the proposals are carried out under the guidance of the Supervisor appointed during the decision process.

Advantages

  • There is no requirement to advertise the proposal, or approval of the proposal in any newspaper. This results in less publicity and reduced costs.
  • On the successful completion of the CVA the company’s legal entity will remain substantially unaltered and the directors will be free to continue the business as they see fit, or sell the business to new management.
  • The voluntary arrangement can be for a set period and provide a “hiatus” period whereby the company can restructure or refinance without creditor pressure.

Disadvantages

  • The CVA does not affect the rights of any secured creditor (without their consent). Creditors which hold personal guarantees, e.g from the directors, may still take action to enforce these guarantees even if they have consented to a CVA.
  • Notice of the approval of the voluntary arrangement is filed at Companies House and therefore basic details of the voluntary arrangement are available to the general public.
  • The CVA does not necessarily provide for the dissolution of the company and, even if the proposal provides that the company ceases to exist after the successful completion of the arrangement, at any period within 20 years following dissolution the company may be resurrected and placed into liquidation by a creditor in the event that a contingent or unknown liability were to be pursued.

Other Options Available

Informal Creditor Agreement

Administration
Administration
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Liquidation
Liquidation
Company Dissolution
Company Dissolution
Receivership
Receivership
Business Restructure
Business Restructure

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