We believe it is essential to work as a team with the legal and financial advisors of the companies we assist.
It is through this constant dialogue that we tailor, negotiate and implement, as a team, the best solutions for every company we assist.
After a preliminary evaluation, we draw out, together with the managers and their advisors, a full diagnosis of the situation and determine whether or not such proceedings are adapted to the situation.
All companies facing immediate or potential difficulties are eligible for such proceedings, subject to their ability to face their immediate due debts (mandat ad hoc). To enter into a conciliation, failure to meet such due debt should not exceed 45 days. The procedure aims at reaching an agreement with the relevant stakeholders in order to ensure the continuity of operations as a going concern.
Mandat ad hoc is the most flexible solution: following the request of the company's CEO, the mandataire ad hoc of his choice is appointed by the President of the Court. The mandataire ad hoc's mission, which remains absolutely confidential, is generally to find an agreement between the company, its creditors and shareholders. But a mandat ad hoc can be adequate to solve other kinds of issues: shareholders disputes, difficulties with key clients or suppliers, social negotiation, etc…). In his task, the mandataire ad hoc has no power to force any parties' consent. He can only rely on his expertise as a negotiator, his proper knowledge of such situations, his experience in conducting this kind of negotiation and on the authority of the Court that has entrusted him.
As the leader and arbitrator of the negotiation, the mandataire ad hoc has to ensure the loyalty of the negotiation, and the respect of every active stakeholder. His action has only one goal: to reach an agreement restoring the sustainability of the company he was appointed to assist.
Conciliation relies on the same principles. It mainly differs by its necessarily limited duration (5 months) and the possibility, once an agreement has been reached, to ask its ratification by the Court, which ensures its perfect legal security and enables the Court to grant a preferential ranking for the benefit of new money providers.
The success rate of these voluntary, consensual and confidential proceedings is extremely high.
This procedure has recently instated cram-down deals under French law. It allows to unlock situations where a restructuring deal is paralyzed by minority creditors.
The judgment opening the procedure automatically freezes the financial debt. Financial creditors grouped within a committee, which approves the plan based on a two-thirds majority.
This procedure is extremely fast and efficient, and does not affect the company's business partners. Its duration is limited to a month, renewable only once.
This procedure shares the same principles as those of Accelerated Financial Safeguard, except that it freezes all of the company's debts, including commercial debts. The plan has to be approved by two creditor committees: the financial creditors committee and the main suppliers committee.
Safeguard proceedings are filed on a voluntary basis. Only companies that are not in a situation of suspension of payments are eligible for a safeguard.
The court decision opening the proceeding enforces a legal suspension of payments. This allows the company to preserve its financial resources to implement its operational restructuring, ensure its sustainability and reschedule its liabilities.
If no agreement can be reached with the creditors, the Court can impose such rescheduling up to 10 years.
During the course of these procedures, the administrateur judiciaire is appointed with a mission to assist the Management team to define a restructuring plan and to lead a negotiation with the creditors, in order to reach, as often as possible, a negotiated solution.This procedure offers greater leverage than amicable proceedings, for the following reasons:
- It is partly coercive for creditors, whose receivables are "frozen" at the opening of the safeguard;
- If economic redundancies are necessary, the company can benefit from repayable advances granted by the Unedic-AGS (a national fund that guarantees the payment of wages when unsolvent companies are unable to pay their employees);
- The plan can be enforced if approved by a majority of two-thirds of each creditors committee;
- If no agreement can be reached, the Court can impose the rescheduling of the company's liabilities up to a maximum of 10 years.
This procedure however has the inconvenience of being public.
Its purpose is to organize the restructuring of a company within the framework of a judicial procedure, under the authority of a commercial court.Just like Safeguard, a redressement judiciaire:
- is coercive for creditors, whose receivables are "frozen" at the opening of the procedure;
- allows the company to benefit from Unedic-AGS's financings if economic redundancies are necessary;
- enables the enforcement of a plan if approved by a majority of two-thirds of each creditors committee;
- enables the Court, if no agreement can be reached, to impose the rescheduling of the company's liabilities up to a maximum of 10 years.
Unlike Safeguard, however, a redressement judiciaire offers:
- a simplified and accelerated procedure for economic redundancies
- the possibility, if the company is unable to pay its debts, to order an asset deal for the benefit of a third party that is able to ensure the continuation of the business as a going concern.
If the company cannot be saved, the Court orders judicial liquidation.
The administrateur judiciaire's mission is to assist the managers to ensure the continuation of the company's operations in spite of a tense situation (worried employees and clients, unpaid suppliers etc.…), and to define and implement, together with the management, a sustainable restructuring solution.
If the company cannot be efficiently restructured, the adminisrateur judiciaire's duty is to find buyers for its assets and negotiate with them the best take-over solution, in order to preserve the largest part of its activities, as many jobs as possible, and to settle the largest possible part of its liabilities.
For a minority part of our activities, we can act as advisors for the benefit of companies that may request our assistance.
As interim administrators, we can be appointed to temporarily take in charge the legal responsibility of a company in case of a vacancy of paralysis of its management bodies, and for the duration of such vacancy or paralysis.
When a ompany's activity has reached its term or more generally when its shareholders wish to terminate its operations , a liquidator is appointed by the shareholders' assembly, with a mission to recover its receivables, transfer its assets, pay its debts and pursue pending legal proceedings, if any.
After clearing these operations, the remaining values are shared between the shareholders.
If, on the contrary, the company's assets do not allow the payment of all debts, a negotiation needs to be undertaken with the concerned parties in order to restore the balance between the company's assets and liabilities.