Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA)

If your business operates as a limited company and you need an arrangement for your business to repay its debts then a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) may provide a solution. To help understand whether a CVA may be something you want to consider we have provided some basic guidelines and features of a CVA.

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What is a CVA and when can one be used?

A CVA is a statutory agreement between a company and its creditors. It is a rescue tool that allows an insolvent company to repay its debts over a period of 1 to 5 years and requires at least 75% of the creditors to agree the proposal.

When is a CVA applicable?

A Company Voluntary Arrangement is an insolvency solution adopted by directors who want to make their company solvent again. A CVA is used when:

  • A company is insolvent;
  • A company, which has a great deal of debt, proves that it is still viable for trading (the company has to show that it will have enough capital in the future to cover the debts).
The basic steps followed in a Company Voluntary Arrangement:
  • An Insolvency Practitioner is appointed to evaluate the situation, discuss with the directors and determine whether the company can be saved from liquidation via a CVA.
  • If the IP and the directors decide that a CVA is in fact a feasible route, then a written proposal will be put together. The IP becomes the Nominee, as he is in charge of bringing the document forward to the creditors.
  • Once the document is completed it has to be filed at the Court and signed copies of it will be sent to all creditors.
  • A creditor’s and shareholder’s meetings will be arranged. At least 75% (by debt value) of creditors must agree for the proposal to pass.
  • After the meeting, the Nominee will write a report to the court and creditors outlining the decision, votes and results.
  • The Nominee will implement the CVA, becoming the Supervisor for the time set in the proposal. From that moment onwards repayments have to be carried out exactly as stated in the arrangement. The company becomes solvent and it is up for trading again.

When the CVA is completed the Supervisor will get a completion certificate to confirm the end of the arrangement, which means that the company is released of any obligations and debts.

Company Voluntary Arrangement Contents

The most important things to be written within a CVA are:

  • The reason why creditors should agree with a CVA;
  • Asset values, third party properties and liabilities;
  • Duration of the CVA, the Nominee’s expenses/remuneration and the Supervisor’s duties;
  • Any guarantees that the directors (or anyone else) will offer; and
  • How will funds be banked/invested/dealt with.

CVA: Summary

The main facts to remember about a Company Voluntary Arrangement are:

  • A CVA is a mutual agreement between a company and its creditors;
  • It is used when the company is insolvent, but still able to pay its debts;
  • It is a written proposal covering all the details of the trading history, the amount of debt the company commits to pay off, the payment schedule, a statement of affairs, and the estimated outcome;
  • The company promises to repay its debts within a period of 1 to 5 years’ time; and
  • In order for a CVA to be approved, more than 75% of the creditors have to agree.