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Company debt advice for event businesses
How can you protect your events company from rising costs and ever-changing consumer preferences? Understand formal insolvency procedures to help save or close your events business, such as a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), Company Administration or Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).
The events industry has had a torrid time over the past few years and the long-term effects on cash flow cannot be underestimated. For many, borrowing taken out during periods of subdued trade will become more and more onerous as everyday running costs continue to increase.
If you are weighing up your options when it comes to the future of your events company, it is vital you understand of all of your options first, allowing you to make an informed decision based on facts rather than guesswork.
Depending on the current financial health of your events business, as well as the long-term viability of the company, you may be able to consider one of the possible rescue and recovery strategies which may allow you to restructure your existing debt, simplify the company’s operational or financial structure, or source vital funding. However, it may be the case that the company's liabilities are simply too high to sustain. In this instance, options for closing the company may need to be explored.
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Closing an insolvent events company is done through a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation – or CVL. This is a formal insolvency process which is initiated by the company’s directors and/or shareholders in order to bring an insolvent company to an orderly end. A CVL can only be entered into under the guidance of a licensed insolvency practitioner who will, once appointed, facilitate the whole process.
One of the insolvency practitioner’s jobs will be to identify all company assets, including property, machinery, vehicles, and stock, which will be independently valued prior to being sold. Proceeds will then be distributed amongst outstanding company creditors according to a designated order of priority. Any debt remaining after the company has been liquidated will die with the company unless any of this borrowing has been personally guaranteed by the directors.
While placing your events company into liquidation is not a step you are likely to be keen to take, you have a legal responsibility to put the interests of your creditors above those of yourself and your business once you know your company to be insolvent. By opting for liquidation, you are facilitating the company being closed down in the correct manner while protecting your existing creditors from suffering further unnecessary losses.
If you are experiencing financial distress with your company and are weighing up whether closing your live events and entertainment business through liquidation is the best step, seeking advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner at the earliest available opportunity can help clarify the situation and ensure you are making the right decision for all concerned.
An insolvency practitioner will be able to talk you through your options – including closing your events company through a liquidation process – and help you understand what this means for your business, your employees, and also those your company owes money to.
If you believe your company has a good chance of bouncing back to profitability, your appointed insolvency practitioner will also take you through the options for turning around your entertainment business’s current situation utilizing a formal restructuring method.
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A struggling business does not necessarily mean that the business is destined to fail. If your events business is currently fighting to stay afloat against rising costs and decreased income, there is still the chance the business can be saved.
Business turnaround is not a one size fits all process. Every company – whether in the events industry or not – is individual and the pressures it is facing will be unique to that business. This means a tailored approach is required to ensure the company is given the best possible chance of future success.
Restructuring an events company may involve engaging in a process of negotiation with creditors which can help to not only reduce monthly costs going forward, but also minimize the current pressures and demands for payment being placed upon your business. This may be done informally, or via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a legally-binding insolvency procedure.
If this is not possible, entering the company into a formal insolvency process such as administration could be the lifeline your business needs. Upon being placed in administration, the company is protected by a moratorium which prevents creditors from beginning legal action against the company. Any existing litigation is also temporarily paused. This gives the appointed insolvency practitioner the time to form a plan free from threats of winding up.
When it comes to implementing a turnaround strategy, the key is viability. That means your business must have the potential for success both now and also in the long-term. The business must be generating revenue, even if this is at a lower rate than previous levels. It is this income which can be used to instill confidence from your creditors and facilitate a turnaround
In the case of a CVA, for example, creditors will be asked to vote on the proposed terms before the agreement is allowed to go ahead. A minimum of 75% of creditors (by value) must give their consent to the arrangement and proposed repayment amount. In order for this to happen, creditors must be confident that the company has a good chance of adhering to the CVA for its duration. With a typical CVA running for 3-5 years, being able to convince creditors of your long-term viability is key to having the proposal accepted.
In some cases, the company may be experiencing cash flow constraints as a result of the enforced closure period during lockdown. If business has rebounded, it may be that a cash injection is all that is needed to reinvigorate the business and allow for overheads to be paid as and when they fall due.
We have an in-house team of commercial finance experts who can work alongside you to source the funding you need. We are able to harness our relationships with a variety of high street and alternative lenders to secure the most appropriate funding channel at a competitive rate.
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