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The Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Private company becoming publicN.I.

Re-registration of private company as publicN.I.

53.—(1) Subject to this Article and Articles 54 to 58, a private company (other than a company not having a share capital) may be re-registered as a public company if—

(a)a special resolution that it should be so re-registered is passed; and

(b)an application for re-registration is delivered to the registrar, together with the necessary documents.

A company cannot be re-registered under this Article if it has previously been re-registered as unlimited.

(2) The special resolution must—

(a)alter the company's memorandum so that it states that the company is to be a public company; and

(b)make such other alterations in the memorandum as are necessary to bring it (in substance and in form) into conformity with the requirements of this Order with respect to the memorandum of a public company (the alterations to include compliance with Article 35(1)[F1, or section 33 of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004,] as regards the company's name); and

(c)make such alterations in the company's articles as are requisite in the circumstances.

(3) The application must be in the prescribed form and be signed by a director or secretary of the company; and the documents to be delivered with it are the following—

(a)a printed copy of the memorandum and articles as altered in pursuance of the resolution;

(b)a copy of a written statement by the company's auditors that in their opinion the relevant balance sheet shows that at the balance sheet date the amount of the company's net assets (within the meaning given to that expression by [F2section 831 of the Companies Act 2006]) was not less than the aggregate of its called-up share capital and undistributable reserves;

(c)a copy of the relevant balance sheet, together with a copy of an unqualified report (as defined in Article 56) by the company's auditors in relation to that balance sheet;

(d)if Article 54 applies, a copy of the valuation report under paragraph (2)(b) of that Article; and

(e)[F3subject to paragraph (3A),] a statutory declaration in the prescribed form by a director or secretary of the company—

(i)that the special resolution required by this Article has been passed and that the conditions of Articles 54 and 55 (so far as applicable) have been satisfied, and

(ii)that, between the balance sheet date and the application for re-registration, there has been no change in the company's financial position that has resulted in the amount of its net assets becoming less than the aggregate of its called-up share capital and undistributable reserves.

[F3(3A) In place of the statutory declaration referred to in sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph (3), there may be delivered to the registrar using electronic communications a statement made by a director or secretary of the company as to the matters set out in heads (i) and (ii) of that sub-paragraph.

(3B) Any person who makes a false statement under paragraph (3A) which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true is liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both.]

(4) In this Article and Articles 54 and 56, “relevant balance sheet” means a balance sheet prepared as at a date not more than 7 months before the company's application under this Article.

(5) A resolution that a company be re-registered as a public company may change the company name by deleting the word “company” or the words “and company”, including any abbreviation of them.

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F3SR 2003/3

Consideration for shares recently allotted to be valuedN.I.

54.—(1) This Article applies if shares have been allotted by the company between the relevant balance sheet date and the passing of the special resolution under Article 53, and those shares were allotted as fully or partly paid up as to their nominal value or any premium on them otherwise than in cash.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this Article, the registrar shall not entertain an application by the company under Article 53 unless beforehand—

(a)the consideration for the allotment has been valued in accordance with Article 118, and

(b)a report with respect to the value of the consideration has been made to the company (in accordance with that Article) during the 6 months immediately preceding the allotment of the shares.

(3) Where an amount standing to the credit of any of the company's reserve accounts, or of its profit and loss account, has been applied in paying up (to any extent) any of the shares allotted to members of the company or any premium on those shares, the amount applied does not count as consideration for the allotment, and accordingly paragraph (2) does not apply to it.

(4) Paragraph (2) does not apply if the allotment is in connection with an arrangement providing for it to be on terms that the whole or part of the consideration for the shares allotted is to be provided by the transfer to the company or the cancellation of all or some of the shares, or of all or some of the shares of a particular class, in another company (with or without the issue to the company applying under Article 53 of shares, or of shares of any particular class, in that other company).

(5) But paragraph (4) does not exclude the application of paragraph (2), unless under the arrangement it is open to all the holders of the shares in the other company in question (or, where the arrangement applies only to shares of a particular class, to all the holders of the other company's shares of that class) to take part in the arrangement.

In determining whether that is the case, shares held by or by a nominee of the company allotting shares in connection with the arrangement, or by or by a nominee of a company which is that company's holding company or subsidiary or a company which is a subsidiary of its holding company, are to be disregarded.

(6) Paragraph (2) does not apply to preclude an application under Article 53, if the allotment of the company's shares is in connection with its proposed merger with another company; that is, where one of the companies concerned proposes to acquire all the assets and liabilities of the other in exchange for the issue of shares or other securities in that one to shareholders of the other, with or without any cash payment to those shareholders.

(7) In this Article—

(a)“arrangement” means any agreement, scheme or arrangement, including an arrangement sanctioned in accordance with [F4section 899 of the Companies Act 2006] (company compromise with creditors and members) or[F5 Article 96 of the Insolvency Order] (liquidator in winding up accepting shares as consideration for sale of a company's property), and

(b)“another company” includes any body corporate and any body to which letters patent have been issued under the [1837 c. 73] Chartered Companies Act 1837.

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Additional requirements relating to share capitalN.I.

55.—(1) For a private company to be re-registered under Article 53 as a public company, the following conditions with respect to its share capital must be satisfied at the time the special resolution under that Article is passed.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (5) to (7)—

(a)the nominal value of the company's allotted share capital must be not less than the authorised minimum, [F6(see Chapter 2 of Part 20 of the Companies Act 2006)] and

(b)each of the company's allotted shares must be paid up at least as to one-quarter of the nominal value of that share and the whole of any premium on it.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5), if any shares in the company or any premium payable on them have been fully or partly paid up by an undertaking given by any person that he or another should do work or perform services (whether for the company or any other person), the undertaking must have been performed or otherwise discharged.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), if shares have been allotted as fully or partly paid up as to their nominal value or any premium payable on them otherwise than in cash and the consideration for the allotment consists of or includes an undertaking (other than one to which paragraph (3) applies) to the company, then either—

(a)the undertaking must have been performed or otherwise discharged, or

(b)there must be a contract between the company and some person pursuant to which the undertaking is to be performed within 5 years from the time the special resolution under Article 53 is passed.

(5) For the purpose of determining whether paragraphs (2)(b), (3) and (4) are complied with, certain shares in the company may be disregarded; and these are—

(a)subject to paragraph (6), any share which was allotted on or before 31st December 1984, or

(b)any share which was allotted in pursuance of an employees' share scheme and by reason of which the company would, but for this paragraph, be precluded under paragraph (2)(b) (but not otherwise) from being re-registered as a public company.

(6) A share is not be disregarded under paragraph (5)(a) if the aggregate in nominal value of that share and other shares proposed to be so disregarded is more than one-tenth of the nominal value of the company's allotted share capital; but for this purpose the allotted share capital is treated as not including any shares disregarded under paragraph (5)(b).

(7) Any shares disregarded under paragraph (5) are treated as not forming part of the allotted share capital for the purposes of paragraph (2)(a).

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Meaning of “unqualified report” in Article 53(3)N.I.

56.—(1) The following paragraphs explain the reference in Article 53(3)(c) to an unqualified report of the company's auditors on the relevant balance sheet.

[F7(2) If the balance sheet was prepared for a financial year of the company, the reference is to an auditors' report stating without material qualification the auditors' opinion that the balance sheet has been properly prepared [F8in accordance with the Companies Act 2006].

(3) If the balance sheet was not prepared for a financial year of the company, the reference is to an auditors' report stating without material qualification the auditors' opinion that the balance sheet has been properly prepared in accordance with [F9the provisions of the Companies Act 2006] which would have applied if it had been so prepared.

For the purposes of an auditors' report under this paragraph [F9the provisions of the Companies Act 2006] shall be deemed to apply with such modifications as are necessary by reason of the fact that the balance sheet is not prepared for a financial year of the company.

(4) A qualification shall be regarded as material unless the auditors state in their report that the matter giving rise to the qualification is not material for the purpose of determining (by reference to the company's balance sheet) whether at the balance sheet date the amount of the company's net assets was not less than the aggregate of its called up share capital and undistributable reserves.

In this paragraph “net assets” and “undistributable reserves” have the meaning given by [F10section 831 of the Companies Act 2006][F11 and “financial year” has the meaning given by section 390 of that Act].]

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Certificate of re-registration under Article 53N.I.

57.—(1) If the registrar is satisfied, on an application under Article 53, that a company may be re-registered under that Article as a public company, he shall—

(a)retain the application and other documents delivered to him under that Article; and

(b)issue the company with a certificate of incorporation stating that the company is a public company.

(2) The registrar may accept a declaration under Article 53(3)(e)[F12 or a statement under Article 53(3A)] as sufficient evidence that the special resolution required by that Article has been passed and the other conditions of re-registration have been satisfied.

(3) The registrar shall not issue a certificate of incorporation if it appears to him that the court has made an order confirming a reduction of the company's capital which has the effect of bringing the nominal value of the company's allotted share capital below the authorised minimum [F13(see Chapter 2 of Part 20 of the Companies Act 2006)].

(4) Upon the issue to a company of a certificate of incorporation under this Article—

(a)the company by virtue of the issue of that certificate becomes a public company; and

(b)any alterations in the memorandum and articles of association set out in the resolution take effect accordingly.

(5) A certificate of incorporation is conclusive evidence—

(a)that the requirements of this Order in respect of re-registration and of matters precedent and incidental thereto have been complied with; and

(b)that the company is a public company.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F12SR 2003/3

Modification for unlimited company re-registeringN.I.

58.—(1) In their application to unlimited companies, Articles 53 to 57 are modified as follows.

(2) The special resolution required by paragraph (1) of Article 53 must, in addition to the matters mentioned in paragraph (2) of that Article—

(a)state that the liability of the members is to be limited by shares, and what the company's share capital is to be; and

(b)make such alterations in the company's memorandum as are necessary to bring it in substance and in form into conformity with the requirements of this Order with respect to the memorandum of a company limited by shares.

(3) The certificate of incorporation issued under paragraph (1) of Article 57 shall, in addition to containing the statement required by sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph, state that the company has been incorporated as a company limited by shares; and—

(a)the company by virtue of the issue of the certificate becomes a public company so limited; and

(b)the certificate is conclusive evidence of the fact that it is such a company.

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