Chwilio Deddfwriaeth

Companies Act 2006

Private company becoming public

Section 90: Re-registration of private company as public

196.This section restates section 43(1) and (2), and section 48 of the 1985 Act. It enables a private company (whether limited or unlimited) to re-register as a public company providing that certain conditions are met. These conditions are set out in subsections (2) to (4). They include a requirement for the company to make such alterations to its name and articles of association (“articles”) as are necessary to reflect the fact that the company will be a public company. This will be particularly important for private companies formed under the Act who are using the model articles: in particular, the new model articles for private companies limited by shares formed under the Act will be written with such companies in mind and are unlikely to be suitable for use by a newly re-registered public company – see notes on sections 19 and 20.

197.As now (see section 48 of the 1985 Act), an unlimited private company with a share capital will be able to re-register as a public company and this is reflected in subsection (4) of this section.

198.Subsection (2)(e) retains the requirement that a private company may not re-register as a public company if it has previously re-registered as an unlimited company. The intention behind this provision is that a company should not be able to enjoy the benefits of limited liability or avoid the obligations that are attached to this, for example, the increased reporting requirements, by continually swapping from limited to unlimited status.

Section 91: Requirements as to share capital

199.This section restates sections 45, 47(3) and 48(5) to (7) of the 1985 Act. It sets out the requirements as to share capital of a company that it is proposing to re-register as a public company. These requirements carry forward the provisions of current companies legislation, for example, the company’s share capital must not be less than the authorised minimum (defined in section 763) and each of the company’s allotted shares must be paid up at least as to a quarter of the nominal value of that share and the whole of any premium on in.

200.Subsection (5) of this section replaces section 47(3) of the 1985 Act. It provides that the registrar must not issue a new certificate of incorporation on re-registration if the court has made an order confirming a reduction of capital which has the effect of bringing the company’s allotted share capital below the authorised minimum (which remains at £50,000 but may be satisfied in sterling or euros – see section 763) or if the company has reduced its capital via the new solvency statement procedure for capital reductions (see section 642) or in connection with a redenomination of share capital (see section 626).

Section 92: Requirements as to net assets

201.This section restates section 43(3)(b), (c) and (e), and (4), and section 46 of the 1985 Act. The requirements as to net assets for a public company remain unchanged (as now, these are determined by reference to the company’s most recent balance sheet).

Section 93: Recent allotment of shares for non-cash consideration

202.This section restates section 44 of the 1985 Act. As now, where there has been an allotment of shares for non-cash consideration between the date of the balance sheet required under section 92 and the date that the company passed the resolution to re-register as a public company, the registrar will not entertain an application for re-registration unless the consideration for the allotment has been valued in accordance with section 596.

Section 94: Application and accompanying documents

203.This section restates sections 43(3)(a) to (e) and 47(2) of the 1985 Act. It prescribes the contents of the application for re-registration where a private company is proposing to re-register as public. There is one important change, which is required as a result of the abolition of the current requirement for private companies to have a company secretary – see section 270. In future, where a private company is proposing to re-register as a public company the application for re-registration must include a statement of the company’s proposed secretary where the company does not already have a secretary. The contents of this statement are prescribed in section 95.

204.The application for re-registration must be accompanied by a statement of compliance – see section 90(1)(c)(ii) – which replaces the present requirement for a statutory declaration (or its electronic equivalent), contained in subsections 43(3)(e) and (3A) of the 1985 Act, with a requirement to make this statement (see note on section 13).

Section 95: Statement of proposed secretary

205.This section is a new provision, which is required as a result of the abolition of the requirement for private companies to have a company secretary – see section 270. Where a private company is proposing to re-register as a public company and the company does not already have a company secretary, the application for re-registration must include details of the person or persons who will act as company secretary or joint secretaries on re-registration. The statement of proposed secretary must also contain a consent, given by the person or each of the persons named in the statement, to act as company secretary or joint secretaries. If all the partners in a firm are to be joint secretaries, one partner in the firm may give consent to act on behalf of all of the partners.

Section 96: Issue of certificate of incorporation on re-registration

206.This section replaces section 47 of the 1985 Act. As now, where the registrar is satisfied that a company is entitled to be re-registered as a public company, she will issue a new certificate of incorporation (which must state that it is being issued on the re-registration of the company). On the issue of a new certificate of incorporation under this section: the company becomes a public company; the change to its name and any amendments that were made to the company’s articles take effect; and the person (or persons) named as secretary (or joint secretaries) in the statement of proposed secretary (see section 95) is deemed to have been appointed as such.

207.As now, the certificate of incorporation on re-registration is conclusive evidence that the company is now a public company and that the requirements of the Act as regards re-registration have been met.

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