Require Immediate Support? Free Director Helpline: 0800 644 6080

Real Business Rescue

Free Director Helpline: 0800 644 6080

What is Pre Pack Administration?


What is pre-pack administration?

Pre-pack administration is a formal insolvency process which involves the sale of a business, or its assets, to a connected or unconnected buyer. Pre-pack administration differs from a conventional administration process as the sale is negotiated and agreed to prior to the insolvency practitioner being formally appointed. The sale to the new company completes as soon as the formal appointment of the insolvency practitioner is made, and the old company will be liquidated shortly afterwards.

Understanding pre pack administration

Pre-pack administration is a formal insolvency rescue process which involves the sale of a business, or its assets, to a buyer. With a pre-pack, the buyer is often connected to the existing company operating via a new company – or ‘newco’.

Pre-pack administration – also known as pre-packaged administration – differs from a conventional administration process as the sale is negotiated and agreed to prior to the insolvency practitioner being formally appointed. The sale of the business and/or its assets to the new company completes as soon as, or very shortly after, the formal appointment of the administrator (who must be a licensed insolvency practitioner) is made. 

In order to enter into pre-pack administration, the company must be insolvent and a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) must be appointed to act as administrator. With a pre-pack, this appointment only takes place after the sale has been agreed. 

The aim of a pre-pack is not to save the insolvent company itself, but to rescue viable elements of the business allowing trade to continue from a new company without the burden of the existing unmanageable debt. This can help ensure continuous employment for employees as well as minimising the loss to creditors when compared to the company entering liquidation without first being placed into administration. 

Video placeholder

60 Second Test Find Your Nearest Office

Pre-pack administration: Process and Procedure 

  1. The company is facing creditor pressure – If you are dealing with hostile creditor pressure and the business is facing the possibility of an undesirable outcome such as a winding up petition or liquidation, steps need to be taken quickly if you want to save the company from closure. If your company is currently insolvent but you are continuing to trade, be aware that the directors could be held personally liable if appropriate action is not taken to rectify the situation. You are strongly advised to contact a licensed insolvency practice for advice and direction. 
  2. An initial consultation held to examine options – You can arrange an initial consultation with one of our qualified licensed insolvency practitioners where you will be able to discuss the situation in confidence allowing the insolvency practitioner to make a suitable recommendation. We will analyse your company’s operations, assets, and outstanding debts, and assess whether pre-pack administration is appropriate. In determining the most appropriate course of action, an insolvency practitioner must consider the position of outstanding creditors and ensure the chosen process maximises their returns as much as possible. 
  3. Asset valuations sought and a Statement of Affairs produced - If pre-pack administration is suitable and you choose to appoint one of our IPs to act as the administrator, they will begin the process by determining the value of your company’s assets, and creating a Statement of Affairs (SOA) which will be contained in the official administrator’s proposal. This document will also contain a proposal to the company’s outstanding creditors detailing the expected outcome, along with projections of the administrator’s anticipated costs. The existing company must be marketed for sale, and the administrator is obliged to listen to all genuine offers even those from competitors. 
  4. Administrator is appointed and sale completes – Once the insolvency practitioner is appointed to act as administrator, the old company enters administration, and the agreed sale of the assets to the newco completes. 
  5. Creditors’ meeting held - After the sale of assets is complete the administrator holds a meeting with the insolvent company’s creditors to give a thorough explanation of why the pre-pack administration was undertaken as mandated under SIP 16 Disclosure Requirements. 
  6. Liquidation of the old company is considered - While the newco is by this stage up and running, the old company still exists. A company cannot stay in administration indefinitely, nor can the administrator distribute any funds back to the creditors whilst the company is in administration meaning an exit route for the company needs to be planned. Stripped of most of its assets yet still carrying high levels of debt, in most cases the administrator will recommend that the old company be liquidated. This is often proposed during the creditors’ meeting. If the creditors consent to this then the old company undergoes a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL), during which the rest of its assets are liquidated to repay as many of the remaining debts as possible as per the hierarchy of creditors.

10,000+ Tests Completed

Free 60 Second Test

For Ltd Company Directors


What are you looking to do?
Choose below:

Pros and cons of pre packaged administration

As with most formal insolvency procedures, there are both advantages and disadvantages to pre-pack administration. Whether pre-pack administration is a suitable option for your company will depend on a number of factors including its future viability, current debt levels, and the shareholders appetite to continue trading. A licensed insolvency practitioner will be able to talk you through your options depending on your own unique circumstances, but some of the main pros and cons are as follows:

“Called for help with closing non-trading companies and Chelsea advised me on what to do and instead of taking advantage as others would by taking on the case and charging loads. She gave me a solution that would cost £20. Very pleased with the service and thankful for Chelsea’s advice.”



Contact the Real Business Rescue Team today

Advantages of pre-pack administration

  • Speed of sale - Pre-pack administration allows for a quick sale and a seamless transfer of the purchased assets, allowing business and trade to continue largely uninterrupted. This speed of sale has a number of benefits including helping to preserve asset values, save jobs, and maintain commercial momentum via largely uninterrupted customer service and continuation of supplier contracts.

  • Preserve value - Once word gets out that a company is in financial difficulty, the value of the business typically takes a sharp decline as customer, supplier, and employee confidence is lost. As a pre-pack sale is completed before the company enters administration, this risk of falling value is severely mitigated.

  • Save jobs - When a company finds itself in an insolvent position, having to make staff redundant is always a risk. As a pre-pack allows for uninterrupted continuation of trade, this often means continued employment for its staff. Employee rights are protected by TUPE (The Transfer of Undertakings Redundancy (Protection of Employment)) regulations which transfers employee contracts over to the newco. Redundancy is unavoidable in some instances, however, pre-pack administration will typically result in many employees keeping their jobs when compared to alternative insolvency solutions.

  • Better returns to creditors – Due to the speed of sale and the ability to continue to trade, the preservation of asset value can result in a better return to creditors than if the company entered into liquidation and its assets were sold on a distressed basis. The reduction in job losses is also a benefit to the general body of creditors as the value of preferential claims are kept to a minimum.

Can’t pay CBILS or Bounce Back Loan?

Don't worry - there are thousands of other company directors in the same position. If you are struggling to keep up with your Covid loan repayments, speak to a member of the Real Business Rescue team to discuss your options. It's Free & Confidential.
The team are available now -  0800 644 6080

Disadvantages of pre-pack administration

While pre-pack administration can be a great option in the right circumstances, there are a number of drawbacks to the process which also need to be considered. These include:

  • Finance and funding - When buying the assets of an insolvent company through a pre-pack administration there needs to be funding in place to facilitate this sale. This may have to be accomplished by using the personal funds of the directors or other shareholders if outside finance is difficult to obtain. To combat this potential sticking point, the administrator may be willing to offer payment terms to the purchaser allowing the assets to be paid for over a period of time.  
  • Creditor concerns - As unsecured creditors will typically not be aware that the company has undergone a pre-pack process until the sale has completed, they may feel hard done by or concerned whether this was the best route for the company and its creditors. Following the pre-pack sale, administrators are required to provide substantial information to creditors about the sales process including details of the marketing activities undertaken and the asset valuations obtained in an attempt to alleviate these concerns. 
  • Potential reputational damage – Due to the seamless transition from seller to buyer, some directors may think that the transition to a new company via a pre-pack will ‘fly under the radar.’ This is not the case and although pre-packs are often done with the best intentions of shareholders, employees, and creditors in mind, there is always the possibility that pre-pack administration will attract unfavourable attention particularly from creditors who are left unpaid. 
colourful background

Our Confidential Test will help your understand your:

  • Debt and Asset Position
  • Liability for Company Debts
  • Next Steps to Take

Plus much more ...

60 Second Test
opened laptop


Licensed insolvency practitioners and their role in pre-pack administration

A company cannot enter administration – whether pre-pack or standard administration – without the guidance of a licensed insolvency practitioner. It is the insolvency practitioner’s responsibility to ensure that pre-pack administration is suitable for the company and that it represents the best possible chance of maximising creditor returns. 

Before the insolvency practitioner is appointed, they will work to negotiate the pre-pack deal, which includes arranging valuations and negotiating with potential purchasers to ensure a fair deal is reached.   

The administrator has a legal duty to the creditors, and as part of this, they are obliged to demonstrate that pre-pack offers the best returns for the company’s creditors. A pre-pack administration could be considered unlawful if the following criteria are not met: 

  • The directors of the insolvent company and the administrator must be able to demonstrate that all other options were considered before the pre-pack administration route was chosen. They must be able to explain why a pre-pack was the most appropriate course of action available in the circumstances and its statutory purpose e.g. achieving a better return for creditors, must be clearly stated. 
  • The administrator has to act in the best interest of all creditors, so it is vital there is justification to show that this was done. Details of any valuations obtained for the business and its assets must be noted and a record kept of any offers which were made by other parties and the reasons why these offers were rejected in favour of the sale to the directors of the insolvent company. 
  • The administrator must thoroughly document the details of the pre-pack sale, including any marketing done, and be prepared to provide evidence of this when requested. 

Corporate Restructuring Options

When a company is in difficulty, sometimes a process of financial and/or operational restructuring is needed. From CVAs through to Administration, there are a range of rescue and recovery options to help you get back on track.
Learn more about restructuring by calling our team -  0800 644 6080

Pre-pack administration regulation

As many pre-pack sales are to the shareholders of the original company, insolvency regulation surrounding disposals to connected parties will need to be adhered to. A connected party is defined as “a person with any connection to the directors, shareholders or secured creditors of the company or their associates”. 

In order to help improve the transparency of pre-pack administrations, two processes have been introduced to provide creditors with reassurance that the sale was completed fairly. These processes are the pre-pack pool, and the evaluator’s report. Both aim to introduce a third party to offer an independent opinion on the sale when this was to a connected purchaser such as the shareholders of the original company. 

The Pre-Pack Pool 

The pre-pack pool is an independent body comprised of experienced business people tasked with scrutinising the circumstances of a connected party pre-pack sale and offering an opinion as to whether the proposed pre-pack represents a reasonable option. 

Although valuable as an independent viewpoint, the pool member did not have the power to affect the sale. Referral to the pre-pack pool was voluntary and take up was low; due to this, new regulations came into force in April 2021, making obtaining a Qualifying Evaluator’s Report compulsory.   

Qualifying Evaluator’s Report 

Obtaining a Qualifying Evaluator’s Report prior to the sale of a business or its assets to a connected person within 8 weeks of entering administration was made compulsory in April 2021. The only exception to this is if the administrator has obtained creditor approval for the sale. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain the qualifying report, not the job of the administrator. 

Need to speak to someone?

If your company is struggling with unmanageable debts, squeezed cash flow, or an uncertain future, you are far from alone. We speak to company directors just like you every single day, and we are here to give you the help and advice you need.
Call our team today on 0800 644 6080

Find out more about Pre-Pack Administration 

Pre-pack administration is a highly complex area and you are strongly advised to contact a licensed insolvency practitioner at the earliest available opportunity. Not only will this let you explore alternative solutions which may be more appropriate, but will also ensure the process is started before a creditor can petition for your company to be wound up.

Real Business Rescue’s team of licensed insolvency practitioners can provide the expert help and advice you need on the full range of formal insolvency processes, allowing you to make the best decision for you, your company, and its creditors. Call today on 0808 253 3858 to arrange a free no-obligation consultation

Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-pack Administrations

Why do pre-packs sometimes cause controversy?

Do the company’s directors choose the pre-pack route?

What happens to intellectual property in a pre-pack?

What’s the difference between pre-pack and normal administration?

How long does a pre-pack take?

reviews io logo

Real Business Rescue are here to help

Still unsure whether liquidation is right for your company? Don't worry, the experts at Real Business Rescue are here to help. Our licensed insolvency practitioners will take the time to understand the problems your company is facing before recommending the best course of action going forward based on your own unique circumstances.

  • UK’s Largest Liquidators
  • 100+ Offices Nationwide
  • 100% Confidential Advice
  • Supported 25,000+ Directors
Meet The Team
Team Of 4

Team of Qualified Experts

Trusted team of experts on hand to assist

Meet The Team
Rbr Accreditations Blue

Looking for immediate support?

Complete the below to get in touch

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY
10,000+ Tests Completed

Free 60 Second Test

For Ltd Company Directors

What are you looking to do?
Choose below:

Real Business Rescue Recommended
  • UK's leading business funders
  • Free Brokerage Service
  • Full Market Access
  • Over 30 years' experience
  • Strong relationships with HMRC
  • Support from start to finish
  • 10,000 potential buyers
  • 12,000+ Businesses Sold
  • 60+ Years Experience
Next Steps

We provide free confidential advice with absolutely no obligation.
Our expert and non-judgemental team are ready to assist directors and stakeholders today.