Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Is the case for pre-packs different for quoted companies?

The recent Administration of Media Square (am AIM quoted company) and buyout by its managment throws into light whether a pre-pack process was appropriate in these circumstances.
In the case of a private company the shareholders are often the same as management and will have had opportunity to put further monies in prior to an insolvency process.
In the case of public companies this is not always the case. In the recent demise of Media Square it was announced in 2010 that new banking facilities would only be granted provided that the existing mangement team remained in place, following the AGM. Effectively, shareholders lost the opportunity to appoint management or have the opportunity to put further money into the company in the form of a rights issue. Of course there is nothing technically wrong with this but was it the right thing to do? If the bank was prepared to take a "hair cut" through a pre-pack wouldn't a better option have been to do this coupled with a rights issue and to work with shareholders?
Surely with a quoted company there should be a requirement to ask shareholders if they wish to put up more funds before placing the company into an insolvency procedure?

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