10 Key Restructuring Changes in the Proposed Companies Amendment Bill 2020

The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) has issued its Consultative Document Companies (Amendment) Bill 2020. The proposed amendments cover a wide range of areas. I will write another time on some of the other areas like beneficial ownership and other amendments.

One key aspect of the Companies Amendment Bill 2020 is the very significant amendments and strengthening of the restructuring framework through the scheme of arrangement and corporate rescue mechanisms. The proposed amendments follow similar moves taken by the United Kingdom and Singapore in assisting and helping distressed companies and ensuring safeguards for creditors’ interests.

I highlight the 10 most significant restructuring and corporate rescue amendments which are in the proposed Companies Amendment Bill 2020. I did take part in the initial consultation process as a member of some of the professional bodies. I very much welcome these much-needed restructuring and relief tools to help distressed businesses in the Covid-19 environment. Continue reading

PEMUDAH Webinar – Post Covid-19: Options for Companies to Emerge Stronger

On Thursday 23 July 2020 at 2.30pm, I will be moderating this webinar on restructuring and corporate rescue. The webinar is organised by PEMUDAH, Malaysia’s Special Task Force to Facilitate Business.

I will be joined by the speakers PohPoh Khoo of Ernst & Young and Kumar Kanagasingam of Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill .

We will cover strategy and insight from the perspective of an insolvency practitioner and legal practitioner. Companies can consider the options to restructure its debts, maintain a good financial position, and emerge stronger in the COVID-19 environment.

Registration is free and you can register here. Seats are limited.

UK’s Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill: Possible Reforms for Malaysia’s Restructuring Laws

In response to COVID-19, the UK has fast-tracked its Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the PDF copy of the Bill is here and with helpful Explanatory Notes). The overarching objective of this Bill is to provide businesses with the breathing space they need to continue trading during this difficult time and to avoid insolvency. I set out seven of the key measures that UK is introducing and the possible reforms that Malaysia can adopt.

Continue reading

Coronavirus: Restructuring and Insolvency for Businesses

The coronavirus pandemic gives rise to the major risk of companies and small businesses going insolvent. In this article, I set out the restructuring and corporate rescue options for businesses in Malaysia. For example, companies can pursue the corporate rescue mechanisms under the Companies Act 2016. For small businesses who are sole proprietors, they may face bankruptcy. These individuals consider the voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1967.

Continue reading

Upcoming Book: Law and Practice of Corporate Insolvency in Malaysia

Sweet & Maxwell is publishing an upcoming book: Law and Practice of Corporate Insolvency in Malaysia. It will be the first dedicated text in Malaysia covering restructuring and insolvency law. Each chapter is written by a lawyer, an insolvency practitioner or a combination of both. The book should be a good blend of the latest legal developments and practical tips.

The book will cover all the areas of winding up, receivership, schemes of arrangement, corporate voluntary arrangement and judicial management. Continue reading

Restraining Order under a Scheme of Arrangement Must Satisfy Pre-Conditions from the Start

An applicant must meet the statutory pre-conditions for the grant of a moratorium (otherwise known as a restraining order) under Malaysia’s scheme of arrangement even at the initial application stage. This was decided in a recent High Court decision dated 22 April 2019. The Court set aside the initial grant of the restraining order as the applicant companies had not satisfied the pre-conditions at the time of the application. I have since written the case commentary on this decision.

To my knowledge, this is also the first decision on this issue under the new section 368(2) of the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016). There have been conflicting High Court decisions on this issue when interpreting the predecessor section 176(10A) of the Companies Act 1965 (CA 1965). The full grounds of judgment have not been issued yet.

Continue reading