Company rescue options for struggling businesses

What does business rescue mean?Company rescue refers to a range of financial and operational strategies that aim to save a struggling business from insolvency or bankruptcy.

These strategies may include debt restructuring, refinancing, cost-cutting, and turnaround management, among others.

The ultimate goal of company rescue is to help the business regain its financial footing and return to profitability, thereby protecting the interests of its stakeholders and preserving jobs. Company rescue is essential for struggling businesses because it offers a viable alternative to the drastic and often irreversible step of insolvency or bankruptcy.

By exploring and implementing appropriate rescue options, businesses can avoid the costly and time-consuming process of liquidation, which can be detrimental to all parties involved. Company turnaround rescue options also helps to preserve the reputation of the business, maintain the confidence of its customers, suppliers, and employees, and safeguard the wider economy by preventing the loss of valuable assets and jobs.

Overall, company rescue provides a lifeline to businesses that are facing financial difficulties, offering them a chance to recover and thrive once again

What does company rescue mean?

Company rescue means to a process designed to assist distressed companies in returning to profitability and financial stability. The concept of business rescue recognizes that not all financially troubled companies should be closed down or liquidated, as they may still have value that can be preserved and built upon.

Instead, the rescue package aims to provide a viable alternative to liquidation by offering struggling businesses a chance to restructure, reorganise, and recover. This process typically involves the appointment of a business rescue practitioner who works with the company’s management and stakeholders to develop and implement a rescue plan.

The plan may involve a range of measures, including debt restructuring, asset sales, cost-cutting, KSA, and operational changes, with the ultimate goal of returning the business to profitability and long-term viability.

Signs that a business is in distress

There are several signs that a business may be in financial distress, and recognising these symptoms early on is crucial for taking proactive steps towards recovery. Common symptoms of financial distress in a business include mounting debts, cash flow problems, declining revenues, and loss of profitability.

Other warning signs may include late payments to suppliers and creditors, inability to meet financial obligations, or reduced customer demand. These symptoms may be caused by a range of factors, such as poor financial management, increased competition, economic downturns, or changes in the industry landscape.

To identify early warning signs of trouble in a business, it is important to regularly monitor financial performance and stay alert to changes in the market and industry. This may involve analyzing financial statements, conducting cash flow forecasts, and tracking key performance indicators. Other methods may include engaging with customers and suppliers to gauge their perceptions of the business and keeping up-to-date with industry trends and developments.

Additionally, it is important to establish a crisis management plan that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of financial distress, as this can help to mitigate the impact of a crisis and increase the chances of successful recovery. Overall, early detection of financial distress is key to implementing effective solutions and avoiding more serious consequences down the line.

Ways to rescue a company

There are several ways to rescue a company from financial distress, including traditional and alternative options. Traditional options may include debt restructuring, refinancing, and company voluntary arrangements, while alternative options may include pre-pack administration and administration.

Traditional company rescue options

Traditional company rescue options are often used to help struggling businesses improve their financial position and return to profitability. These options may include debt restructuring and negotiation with creditors, asset refinancing and sale and leaseback arrangements, and company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

  • Debt restructuring: involves renegotiating the terms of existing debt, such as reducing interest rates or extending repayment periods. This can help to ease financial pressure on the business and provide greater cash flow flexibility. Negotiation with creditors may involve requesting forbearance or agreeing to revised repayment schedules.
  • Asset refinancing: and sale and leaseback arrangements involve using existing assets as collateral for new loans or selling assets and leasing them back from the buyer. These strategies can help to generate cash and improve liquidity, enabling the business to meet its financial obligations and invest in growth.
  • A company voluntary arrangement (CVA): is a formal agreement between a struggling company and its creditors that allows the company to pay off its debts over an extended period of time. This agreement is typically overseen by an insolvency practitioner and must be approved by at least 75% of the company’s creditors. A CVA can help to protect the business from legal action by creditors and provide greater financial stability and breathing space for recovery.

Alternative company rescue options

Alternative company rescue options are often used in situations where traditional options are not feasible or effective. These options may include corporate insolvency, pre-pack administration, creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL), and administration.

  • Pre-pack administration: involves the sale of the company’s assets to a buyer who is pre-arranged before the company enters administration. This option can help to preserve the value of the business and protect jobs, as the buyer can acquire the assets and continue trading under a new company structure.
  • Creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL): involves the voluntary winding up of a company, overseen by a licensed insolvency practitioner. The company’s assets are sold to repay creditors, and any remaining debt is written off. This option is often used when there is no hope of recovery or when the company has no remaining assets.
  • Administration: involves the appointment of an administrator who takes control of the company’s affairs with the aim of rescuing the business or achieving a better outcome for creditors than would be possible through liquidation. During this process, the administrator may restructure the company, sell assets, or negotiate with creditors to reach a compromise or voluntary arrangement. Administration can provide greater flexibility and control over the restructuring process and may enable the business to continue trading and preserve jobs.

Turnaround management strategies

Turnaround management strategies are often used in conjunction with traditional or alternative company rescue options to help struggling businesses return to profitability. These strategies may include operational changes to improve business efficiency, cost-cutting measures to reduce overheads, and implementing new marketing and sales strategies.

Operational changes may involve streamlining processes, reorganising teams, or outsourcing non-core functions to reduce costs and increase productivity. This can help to improve the quality and speed of product or service delivery, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase revenues.

Cost-cutting measures may involve reducing staffing levels, renegotiating contracts with suppliers, or moving to a smaller or more cost-effective premises. This can help to reduce overheads and improve cash flow, enabling the business to invest in growth or repay debt.

Implementing new marketing and sales strategies may involve targeting new customer segments, developing new products or services, or expanding into new markets. This can help to increase revenues and market share, improve brand reputation, and create new business opportunities.

Overall, turnaround management strategies require a comprehensive understanding of the business and its market, as well as strong leadership and effective communication to ensure successful implementation. By combining these strategies with traditional or alternative company rescue options, struggling businesses can increase their chances of successful recovery and return to long-term profitability.

Seeking professional advice

Seeking professional advice is essential when considering company rescue options, as it can help to ensure that the business is able to make informed decisions based on accurate and reliable information. Professional advisors can provide expertise and guidance on a range of issues, including financial restructuring, legal compliance, and strategic planning.

The importance of seeking expert advice cannot be overstated, as it can help to prevent costly mistakes and ensure that the company is able to achieve a successful outcome. Expert advisors can help to identify the best course of action for the business, provide support and guidance throughout the restructuring process, and ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are met.

To find a suitable business rescue advisor, it is important to conduct thorough research and due diligence, and to seek recommendations from trusted sources. Advisors should have experience and expertise in the specific areas that the business requires assistance with, and should be able to provide references or testimonials from previous clients. It is also important to ensure that the advisor is appropriately licensed and regulated, and to agree on clear terms of engagement and fees before commencing work.

Frequently asked questions

What is the first step a struggling business should take when considering company rescue options?

The first step a struggling business should take when considering company rescue options is to seek professional advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner or business rescue advisor. They can provide a comprehensive assessment of the business's financial situation, identify the most appropriate rescue options, and guide the business through the restructuring process.

What happens if a business is unable to repay its debts even after restructuring and company rescue efforts?

If a business is unable to repay its debts even after restructuring and company rescue efforts, it may need to consider alternative options such as creditors' voluntary liquidation or administration. In some cases, these options may offer a better outcome for creditors and enable the business to move forward with a clean slate.

Can a business continue trading during the company rescue process?

Yes, in many cases a business can continue trading during the company rescue process. This can help to preserve jobs and maintain relationships with suppliers and customers. However, this will depend on the specific rescue options being considered and the advice of professional advisors. It is important to balance the benefits of continued trading with the risks and costs involved.


In conclusion, company rescue options can offer struggling businesses the opportunity to restructure and return to profitability. Traditional options such as debt restructuring, asset refinancing, and company voluntary arrangements, as well as alternative options such as pre-pack administration, creditors’ voluntary liquidation, and administration, can help businesses to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and manage their debts.

Turnaround management strategies, including operational changes, cost-cutting measures, and new marketing and sales strategies, can also play a critical role in supporting a business’s recovery.

Seeking professional advice from licensed insolvency practitioners or business rescue advisors is essential to ensure that businesses are able to make informed decisions and achieve successful outcomes. By taking a proactive and strategic approach to company rescue, struggling businesses can increase their chances of survival and long-term success.

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Steve Jones Profile
Insolvency & Restructuring Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline

With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.