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Corporate Rescue: Renewed Hope

The reality is that despite a proven track record of stability, financial performance and longevity, the current climate (comprising of the ongoing pandemic and the inevitably forthcoming recession) is making no exceptions in requiring businesses to critically review and analyse their corporate affairs and operations.

Corporations need to prepare to weather the storm that many experts say is coming (or has come), with the macroeconomic effects almost seemingly beginning to take priority over the global health crisis, and use their best endeavours to mitigate any negative impact on their businesses.

A common myth typically raises its head in times of financial hostility and animosity; corporations who entertain the idea of entering into (amongst others), administration in the United Kingdom, or bankruptcy protection in the United States, are commonly (and mistakenly) perceived as being on their corporate road to perdition and effectively shutting down.

The devil is not in the detail, but expressly in the name (and culture) of what ‘corporate rescue’ mechanisms and processes, such as administrations, for example, seek to achieve; a life-line or form of breathing room to be afforded to corporations with time to seek to prepare and implement a roadmap to recovery (along with using, as applicable, other statutory instruments such as moratoriums).

In entertaining these strategic opportunities, corporations’ senior management (as well as shareholders who adopt their role as stewards) may objectively assess the standing of a business, and seek to dispel the notion that it is all ‘doom and gloom’ where a corporation entertains, or in fact, enters a ‘corporate rescue’ process such as administration.

While ultimately it would be naïve to suggest that said processes are fool-proof and guarantee saving a business, there are various incidentals and advantages which, if nothing more, deserve both consideration and recognition of why corporate rescue processes remain viable options e.g.

(i) commencing with an initial consensus that the objective is to rescue, and to the extent possible, restore a business to its former glory or fullest potential;

(ii) avoid unnecessary closures of good businesses, or entry into liquidation processes where the corporate entity and its affairs are effectively wound up;

(iii) afford time to undertake such necessary internal measures such as a reorganisation of capital, or the sale of productive assets as a going concern;

(iv) increased objectivity by allowing external advisory professionals to be involved in the business and offer alternative perspectives which may assist corporations to innovate their business models where otherwise these may have become antiquated; and

(v) ultimately, provide greater accountability in terms of ongoing costs to business owners as well as affected parties/creditors.

With the above in mind, ‘corporate rescue’ should be perceived as, at the very least, a firm prospect of renewed hope for the future and not merely as the beginning of the end. At a time of enhanced change and uncertainty, in particular, opportunities inevitably continue to arise in one form or another, be it within a recession or otherwise

Brooks Brothers, one of America's oldest clothing brands, has become the latest US retailer to file for bankruptcy protection

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