Below are questions and answers aimed to help and provide answers to some of your most basic questions.
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A Provisional Liquidation occurs after a winding-up petition has been made against the company in circumstances where there is a risk to the company’s assets by creditors acting independently, dissipation of assets by the company itself, or there is no management team properly authorised to run the company.
The powers given to the Provisional Liquidator are generally specified in the court order of appointment and usually include the power to overview and authorise the continuation of the business in the ordinary course, investigate its affairs and take steps to protect its assets, until the petition for winding-up can be heard. Typically it is a short term appointment.
The next step will be the hearing of the petition for a winding up order by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the High Court of Justice Antigua and Barbuda. The timing for this is unknown at this point although in the next week or so it is expected the Court will set a date. The Court will at that hearing decide if the company should be wound up or not.
As a former employee with a severance claim there is nothing that you need to do or can do at this time. The Provisional Liquidation’s mandate is the preserve the assets and does not involve the payment of any claims against the company that existed at the time of the appointment. However the Provisional Liquidators, are permitted to pay for wages and services provided during the provisional liquidation assuming SDC has the funds to do so. If and when the company is put into liquidation you will be notified of the steps you need to take to prove your claim at that time.
Under the Companies Act, all proceedings against the company are stayed on the appointment of Provisional Liquidators. In other words no-one can continue to sue or try to seize assets to pay their outstanding accounts. Everything is put on hold until the petition to wind up the company is heard by the Court.
Unless the Provisional Liquidators say otherwise, the business will continue as usual. Ensuring there is sufficient cash to pay the employees is a priority of the Joint Provisional Liquidators. As of now the Provisional Liquidators have been able to borrow, with the permission of the Court sufficient funds to pay the arrears of pay, and make other payments to protect the assets. However the income of the company is not presently enough to meet its expenses, and it would be irresponsible to all creditors, including employees with severance claims, to keep borrowing and reducing the assets available to pay claims. It is therefore possible some changes will be required if there is any delay in the Court hearing the petition for winding up.
Until the winding-up petition has been heard by the court and either been dismissed or a Liquidator appointed, it is not possible to say what will happen. At this time the assets are being preserved and no sales outside of the normal course of business will occur.
The Provisional Liquidators are working with the employees to find ways to improve short term revenues and will consider any request for landscaping services, security services or property rentals which will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Interested parties should notify the company at 1 268 480 3700.