What happens to company assets during Pre-Pack Administration?

How are company assets handled during Pre Pack Administration?When a company enters into a pre pack administration the administrators offers the buyer of the company the opportunity to purchase the assets back at a fair and market value.

This planned insolvency procedure involves a carefully orchestrated transfer of a company’s assets and business to a pre-determined buyer shortly after the appointment of an administrator.

By implementing this strategic approach, the company can repay its secured creditors, prevent the activation of fixed charges, and shield itself from the looming threat of legal action.

Under the legal framework in the United Kingdom, the initiation of a pre-pack administration procedure does not require the explicit consent of unsecured creditors or the involvement of the court.

However, it mandates the appointment of a licensed insolvency practitioner as the administrator, ensuring that the process adheres to the highest professional standards.

In this innovative arrangement, the insolvent company’s directors even have the opportunity to acquire the assets and business, breathing new life into them through the creation of a fresh entity commonly referred to as a “newco.

How are company assets handled during Pre Pack Administration?

In recent years, pre-pack administration has faced its fair share of controversy. However, it is important to recognize that when administrators adhere to the principles outlined in Statement of Insolvency Practice (SIP) 16 guidelines, pre-pack administration remains a highly legitimate and effective strategy for companies facing insolvency.

By ensuring fairness and transparency throughout the process, pre-pack administration enables companies to circumvent the risk of complete closure and instead maintain their operations. This approach not only benefits the struggling company but also safeguards the interests of its employees, creditors, and other stakeholders.

When implemented responsibly, pre-pack administration serves as a valuable tool in preserving businesses, fostering continuity, and ultimately contributing to the overall health and vitality of the economy.

What is the Difference between a Pre-Pack Administration and a Regular Administration?

A pre-pack administration presents a dynamic approach to asset and business sale, where negotiations with a purchaser are pre-arranged prior to the administrator’s appointment. This pre-negotiation allows for a swift execution of the sale by the administrator as soon as they assume their role.

In contrast, under regular administration, the administrator commences business management, trading, and sales negotiations only after their appointment, resulting in a slower and less predictable process.

By adopting the pre-pack administration model, companies can capitalize on the advantage of pre-planned sales, ensuring efficiency, speed, and enhanced predictability, thereby maximizing the potential for successful outcomes

An Advantage of Pre-Pack Administration

By law, an insolvency practitioner is bound to prioritize the best outcome for creditors when considering a pre-pack sale as a course of action.

In fact, in most cases, this approach proves to be the most ideal solution for all parties involved. The streamlined nature of the pre-pack administration process, which occurs prior to the administrator’s appointment, offers a host of compelling benefits:

  1. Uninterrupted Business Operations: As the administration process is meticulously planned and pre-negotiated, the company can ensure that its day-to-day operations remain unaffected, avoiding any detrimental impact.
  2. Job Security for Directors and Employees: A pre-pack sale allows the directors and employees to retain their positions, offering them stability and reassurance during a challenging time.
  3. Court Protection: Once the pre-pack sale is arranged, accompanied by a well-defined purchase contract and the appointment of an insolvency practitioner as administrator, the company enjoys court protection. This shield safeguards the company from creditor pressure while the sale of its assets takes place.
  4. Safeguarding Against Secured Creditors’ Enforcement: The pre-pack administration prevents secured creditors from enforcing a charge against the company’s property or assets. This critical safeguard helps the distressed company steer clear of receivership and bankruptcy.
  5. Reduction in Operating Costs: A pre-pack sale can effectively reduce operating costs, providing financial relief for the company undergoing the administration process.
  6. Cost-Effective: Compared to typical administration procedures, a pre-pack administration incurs lower costs. Since there is no need for additional funding to facilitate the sale of assets, expenses are kept to a minimum.
  7. Expedited Process: All preliminary work, including business marketing, valuation, and creditor negotiations, can be efficiently completed within a matter of days if required. This expedited timeline allows for swift resolution and minimizes uncertainty.
  8. Optimised Asset Sale: With the advantage of planning in advance and engaging in negotiations with potential buyers while still on-site, the distressed company can sell its assets at higher prices. This proactive approach allows for more favorable terms and conditions, maximizing the return for creditors.

In summary, the pre-pack administration process, guided by the expertise of an insolvency practitioner, delivers a range of advantages. By ensuring continuity, job security, court protection, and favourable asset sales, this approach offers an effective and efficient means for distressed companies to navigate insolvency while safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders involved.

What Happens During a Pre-Pack Administration?

Initiating a successful pre-pack sale entails a systematic approach, starting with a comprehensive assessment of the distressed company’s assets to gauge their value and determine their potential sale price. Once this crucial step is completed, the administrator-to-be can proactively seek out potential purchasers and launch a targeted marketing campaign to maximize the financial returns.

In cases where the current directors express interest in acquiring the assets, it becomes imperative for them to seek independent advice. This prudent step ensures that the directors fully understand the implications and intricacies of setting up a new company. Additionally, the purchasing directors must allocate the necessary funds to facilitate the acquisition of the company’s assets, allowing them to become the new owners. However, it’s worth noting that payments for the acquisition can be structured in a deferred manner, providing flexibility and easing the financial burden on the purchasing directors.

By following this meticulous process, which incorporates asset valuation, strategic marketing, and informed decision-making, the pre-pack sale can be orchestrated in a manner that not only secures the best possible price for the assets but also enables directors to establish a new company with the potential for future growth and success.

Upon reaching a mutually agreeable sales agreement, the insolvency practitioner’s solicitors embark on the next crucial step: drafting an official contract of purchase. This comprehensive document outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, ensuring clarity and legal compliance. Subsequently, the contract is presented to the court, seeking its endorsement and approval.

Once the court reviews the contract, it issues an order that safeguards the insolvent company from undue pressures exerted by creditors. By mandating that creditors allow the company to proceed with the administration process, the court facilitates the recovery of debts, providing a much-needed protective shield. This pivotal court intervention shields the company from additional financial burdens, allowing it to focus on regaining stability and charting a path towards long-term viability.

In essence, this collaborative process, involving the insolvency practitioner, solicitors, and the court, culminates in a legally binding purchase contract that not only secures the interests of all parties involved but also shields the insolvent company from further pressures. By leveraging the court’s authority, the administration process can proceed smoothly, enabling the company to navigate its financial challenges and work towards a sustainable future.


In conclusion, during a Pre-Pack Administration, the fate of company assets is carefully managed to ensure the best possible outcome for all stakeholders involved. Through a pre-negotiated sale arrangement, the assets and business of the distressed company are transferred to a pre-designated purchaser soon after the appointment of an administrator. This strategic process allows for the preservation of brand integrity, uninterrupted business operations, and the retention of employees and clients.

The administrator, in accordance with their legal obligations, ensures that the sale of assets provides the optimal result for creditors. By following established guidelines and conducting thorough assessments, the administrator determines the value of the company’s assets and seeks potential purchasers to secure the highest possible price. Directors may even have the opportunity to acquire the assets and use them in a new company, known as a “newco.”

Throughout the Pre-Pack Administration, the court plays a crucial role in protecting the company from creditor pressure. Once a suitable sales agreement is reached, an official contract of purchase is drafted and presented to the court. The court then issues an order that requires creditors to allow the company to complete the administration process, facilitating the recovery of debts and shielding the company from further pressures.

Overall, Pre-Pack Administration offers a structured and efficient approach to insolvency, ensuring the preservation of value for creditors while enabling the distressed company to continue its operations. By carefully managing company assets, this process aims to achieve a successful restructuring or sale, paving the way for the company’s revitalisation and future growth.

Need more information about what will happen to your business assets if you enter into a pre pack administration simply complete the online enquiry and one of the team can explain the process.

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.