Apart from instances in which companies are forced to enter voluntary administration or liquidation by their financial circumstances, there can be a number of opportunities to use a strategic restructure to achieve an outcome which leaves the business stronger as a result of the restructuring process, if it is considered early enough.
Voluntary administration and appropriately constructed deeds of company arrangement can be vehicles for positive change in directorship and shareholding. We specialise in turnarounds and can assist your company in a strategic and appropriate restructure.
From our three business centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, we can offer complex restructuring advice, employing voluntary administration and strategic workout Deeds of Company Arrangement (DOCA) where necessary. In addition, our team looks for solutions that do not require formal appointments. Some of our most successful restructures are not on the public record.
We have acted on some of the most complex and successful corporate restructures undertaken in Australia.
- With Scott Hedge as lead partner, our team acted for Bovis Lend Lease Pty Limited (BLL) in advising BLL on the likely insolvency of Service Stream Limited (SSC). SSC was the publicly-listed joint venture partner of BLL in the Syntheo Joint Venture. The Syntheo Joint Venture contracts with the NBN to provide a number of major works.
The assignment involved complex consideration of insolvency matters, directors' and officers' liabilities, security reviews and enforcement; and issues arising from the negotiated assumption of liabilities and obligations and associated releases. The assignment was undertaken in a highly compressed time frame, as is often the case when insolvency is threatened or pending.
- With Scott Hedge as lead partner, we acted for the administrator of Mirabela Nickel Limited. This involved a complex restructure of a publicly listed company that operated a significant nickel mine in Brazil through a Brazilian subsidiary. A successful DOCA was concluded, that for the first time applied provisions of the Corporations Act permitting compulsory disposal of shares to a public company with several thousand shareholders.
The restructure involved cooperation between multiple stakeholders and their advisors across various jurisdictions and permitted the successful restructure of both debt and capital.
- With Peter Harkin as lead partner, our team acted on the St Hilliers restructure, advising the voluntary administrator on all aspects of the administration, resulting in the successful restructure of the St Hilliers Group. Peter was instrumental in advising the group on how it could effectively restructure in a crisis scenario, not of its own making, as a result of one of the companies in the group falling into technical insolvency.
Peter worked closely with the voluntary administrator on all aspects of the administration of St Hilliers Construction, achieving an outcome which saw the group survive and remain focused on its core business.
This required a number of applications to the courts for the judicial approval of what the administrator was doing, a number of applications for the extension of the voluntary administration period to allow an appropriate DOCA proposal to be developed, liaising and working closely with the government instrumentalities in relation to the group maintaining its licences and certification for the purposes of Department of Defence work and, ultimately, the drafting of a DOCA proposal which was accepted by the vast majority of the group's creditors.