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Companies (Consolidation) Act 1908

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Reduction of Share Capital

46Special resolution for reduction of share capital

(1)Subject to confirmation by the court, a company limited by shares, if so authorised by its articles, may by special resolution reduce its share capital in any way, and in particular (without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power) may—

(a)Extinguish or reduce the liability on any of its shares in respect of share capital not paid up ; or

(b)Either with or without extinguishing or reducing liability on any of its shares, cancel any paid-up share capital which is lost or unrepresented by available assets ; or

(c)Either with or without extinguishing or reducing liability on any of its shares, pay off any paid-up share capital which is in excess of the wants of the company,

and may, if and so far as is necessary, alter its memorandum by reducing the amount of its share capital and of its shares accordingly.

(2)A special resolution under this section is in this Act called a resolution for reducing share capital.

47Application to court for confirming order

Where a company has passed and confirmed a resolution for reducing share capital it may apply by petition to the court for an order confirming the reduction.

48Addition to name of company of " and reduced."

On and from the confirmation by a company of a resolution for reducing share capital, or where the reduction does not involve either the diminution of any liability in respect of unpaid share capital or the payment to any shareholder of any paid-up share capital, then on and from the presentation of the petition for confirming the reduction, the company shall add to its name, until such date as the court may fix, the words

and reduced,as the last words in its name, and those words shall, until that date, be deemed to be part of the name of the company :

Provided that, where the reduction does not involve either the diminution of any liability in respect of unpaid share capital or the payment to any shareholder of any paid-up share capital, the court may, if it thinks expedient, dispense altogether with the addition of the words " and reduced."

49Objections by creditors and settlement of list of objecting creditors

(1)Where the proposed reduction of share capital involves either diminution of liability in respect of unpaid share capital or the payment to any shareholder of any paid-up share capital, and in any other case if the court so directs, every creditor of the company who at the date fixed by the court is entitled to any debt or claim which, if that date were the commencement of the winding up of the company, would be admissible in proof against the company, shall be entitled to object to the reduction.

(2)The court shall settle a list of creditors so entitled to object, and for that purpose shall ascertain, as far as possible without requiring an application from any creditor, the names of those creditors and the nature and amount of their debts or claims, and may publish notices fixing a day or days within which creditors not entered on the list are to claim to be so entered or are to be excluded from the right of objecting to the reduction.

(3)Where a creditor entered on the list whose debt or claim is not discharged or determined does not consent to the reduction, the court may, if it thinks fit, dispense with the consent of that creditor, on the company securing payment of his debt or claim by appropriating, as the court may direct, the following amount; (that is to say,)—

(i)If the company admits the full amount of his debt or claim, or, though not admitting it, is willing to provide for it, then the full amount of the debt or claim ;

(ii)If the company does not admit or is not willing to provide for the full amount of the debt or claim, or if the amount is contingent or not ascertained, then an amount fixed by the court after the like inquiry and adjudication as if the company were being wound up by the court.

50Order confirming reduction

The court, if satisfied, with respect to every creditor of the company who under this Act is entitled to object to the reduction, that either his consent to the reduction has been obtained or his debt or claim has been discharged or has determined, or has been secured, may make an order confirming the reduction on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

51Registration of order and minute of reduction

(1)The registrar of companies on production to him of an order of the court confirming the reduction of the share capital of a company, and the delivery to him of a copy of the order and of a minute (approved by the court), showing with respect to the share capital of the company, as altered by the order, the amount of the share capital, the number of shares into which it is to be divided, and the amount of each share, and the amount (if any) at the date of the registration deemed to be paid up on each share, shall register the order and minute.

(2)On the registration, and not before, the resolution for reducing share capital as confirmed by the order so registered shall take effect.

(3)Notice of the registration shall be published in such manner as the court may direct.

(4)The registrar shall certify under his hand the registration of the order and minute, and his certificate shall be conclusive evidence that all the requirements of this Act with respect to reduction of share capital have been complied with, and that the share capital of the company is such as is stated in the minute.

52Minute to form part of memorandum

(1)The minute when registered shall be deemed to be substituted for the corresponding part of the memorandum of the company, and shall be valid and alterable as if it had been originally contained therein ; and must be embodied in every copy of the memorandum issued after its registration.

(2)If a company makes default in complying with the requirements of this section it shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one. pound for each copy in respect of which default is made, and every director and manager of the company who knowingly and wilfully authorises or permits the default shall be liable to the. like penalty.

53Liability of members in respect of reduced shares

A member of the company, past or present, shall not be liable in respect of any share to any call or contribution exceeding in amount the difference (if any) between the amount paid, or (as the case may be) the reduced amount, if any, which is to be deemed to have been paid, on the share and the amount of the share as fixed by the minute :

Provided that if any creditor, entitled in respect of any debt or claim to object to the reduction of share capital, is, by reason of his ignorance of the proceedings for reduction, or of their nature and effect with respect to his claim, not entered on the list of creditors, and, after the reduction, the company is unable, within the meaning of the provisions of this Act with respect to winding up by the court, to pay the amount of his debt or claim, then—

(i)every person who was a member of the company at the date of the registration of the order for reduction and minute, shall be liable to contribute for the payment of that debt or claim an amount not exceeding the amount which he would have been liable to contribute if the company had commenced to he wound up on the day before that registration ; and

(ii)if the company is wound up, the court, on the application of any such creditor, and proof of his ignorance as aforesaid may, if it thinks fit, settle accordingly a list of persons so liable to contribute, and make and enforce calls and orders on the contributories settled on the list as if they were ordinary contributories in a winding up. Nothing in this section shall affect the rights of the contributories among themselves.

54Penalty on concealment of name of creditor

If any director, manager, or officer of the company wilfully conceals the name of any creditor entitled to object to the reduction, or wilfully misrepresents the nature or amount of the debt or claim of any creditor, or if any director or manager of the company aids or abets in or is privy to any such concealment or misrepresentation as aforesaid, every such director, manager, or officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

55Publication of reasons for reduction

In any case of reduction of share capital, the court may require the company to publish as the court directs the reasons for reduction, or such other information in regard thereto as the court may think expedient with a view to give proper information to the public, and, if the court thinks fit, the causes which, led to the reduction.

56Increase and reduction of share capital in case of a company limited by guarantee having a share capital

A company limited by guarantee and registered on or after the first day of January nineteen hundred and one, may, if it has a share capital, and is so authorised by its articles, increase or reduce its share capital in the same manner and subject to the same conditions in and subject to which a company limited by shares may increase or reduce its share capital under the provisions of this Act.

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