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.

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Company in Distress: Insolvency Issues relating to Employees

Under Malaysia’s movement control restrictions and with COVID-19, companies are facing cash-flow issues and financial difficulties. With the employers facing such difficulties, the employees may also face salary cuts (for example, see this news report) or retrenchment. Companies may then slip closer towards financial distress and may have to pursue restructuring and insolvency options. This article sets out the insolvency issues relating to employees.

I set out the different scenarios where a company in distress may pursue a scheme of arrangement, apply for judicial management, end up placed in receivership or is compulsorily wound up. I touch on how these scenarios will affect the rights of employees. Continue reading

Company Law Case Update: Must Meet Pre-Conditions for Restraining Order in a Scheme of Arrangement

The High Court has again confirmed that for the initial grant of a restraining order in a scheme of arrangement, the applicant must meet all the pre-conditions in section 368(2) of the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016).

This was confirmed in the recent decision in Lagenda Erajuta Sdn Bhd (Grounds of Judgment dated 20 February 2020).

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Case Update: High Court Decides on Restraining Order Requirements under Companies Act 2016

I had earlier written about a High Court decision that set aside a restraining order. The Court held that the applicant must meet the statutory pre-conditions for the grant of a restraining order in a scheme of arrangement from the very initial application stage.

The High Court has now issued its grounds of judgment dated 3 May 2019 in the case involving Barakah Offshore Petroleum Berhad and PBJV Group Sdn Bhd.