Importance of Expiry Date and Effective Date of Restructuring

In the case of merger and demerger, two dates are crucial, the “Appointed Date” and secondly the “Effective Date”. Corporate managers spend a lot of time to plan the exact timing of these dates. ‘Appointed Date’ is normally arranged to secure the interests & objects of the respective companies. And ‘Effective Date’ is finalized by High Court depends on upon filing of a final order of High Court with Registrar of Companies.

Importance of ‘Appointed Date’ & ‘Effective Date’:

Any scheme of compromise or arrangement should identify a date in the scheme itself as ‘Appointed Date’. This ‘appointed date’ is crucial for arriving at values of assets and liabilities appearing in the books of Accounts both for the purpose of the transfer to the Transferee company and also for arriving at the value of shares for the transferor and transferee company viz. exchange ratio. Generally, the first day of a month or the first day of a financial year is identified as the ‘appointed date’, though the Court has the discretion to decide any date as ‘transfer date’.

The ‘Effective Date’ on the other hand is the date on which the transferee company files the order of the High Court sanctioning the scheme with the Registrar of Companies for registration and when the order has so filed the amalgamation or arrangement becomes effective or having come into force from the ‘Appointed date’. The effective date is subsequent date and the company has no control over it.

Issues regarding ‘Appointed Date’ & ‘Effective Date’ and their effects on Various Aspects of Restructuring:

1. Identification of Assets & Liabilities of Transferor Company:
As per the requirements of Section 391 to 394 of the Companies Act, 1956 the Transferor company should identify and quantify the assets and liabilities which are sought to be transferred to the transferee company under merger or demerger. This identification & quantification of assets and liabilities should be done as on Appointed Date.

The details of such assets & liabilities may be annexed as a schedule to the scheme. This identification gives certainty to the scheme, as members of both the companies get a clear idea about what is going to be transferred?

2. Changes in the name/status of the company after Appointed Date:
There could be some changes in name, address or status of the company after the appointed date. Normally such changes do not affect the sanction of the scheme before High Court unless they adversely affect the rights & interests or obligations of the company and/or its members and creditors.

3. Accounting Treatment:
Normally the Transferee Company should, upon the Scheme coming into effect on effective date record the assets and liabilities of the Transferor Company vested in it pursuant to the Scheme, at the fair values thereof at the close of business of the day immediately preceding the Appointed Date.

4. Increase in share capital & Appointed Date:
The shares are allotted only after the scheme is sanctioned by the court and not before. Further, the increase of authorised share capital is always upon sanctioning of the scheme. Hence any objection to the scheme on the ground that on appointed date the share capital of the Transferee Company was not sufficient to give effect to the scheme cannot be sustained.

5. Nature of Business:
From the Appointed Date and till the Effective Date transferor company should act as a trustee of a transferee company.

The Transferor Companies should carry on all their respective business and activities and should be deemed to have held or stood possessed of and should hold and stand possessed all the said Assets for and on account of and in trust for the Transferee Company.

All the profits or income accruing or arising to the Transferor Companies or expenditure or losses arising or incurred by the Transferor Companies should for all purposes be treated and accrued as the profits and income or expenditure or losses of the Transferee Company, as the case may be.

The Transferor Companies should carry on their respective business activities with reasonable diligence, business prudence and should not alienate, charge, mortgage, encumber or otherwise deal with the said assets or any part thereof except in the ordinary course of business or pursuant to any pre-existing obligation undertaken by the Transferor Companies prior to the Appointed Date except with prior written consent of the Transferee Company.

The Transferor Companies should not, without prior written consent of the Transferee Company, undertake any new business.

The Transferor Companies should not, without prior written consent of the Transferee Company, take any major policy decisions in respect of the management of the Company and for the business of the Company and should not change their present capital structure.

6. Employee Transfer:
Normally in any merger/amalgamation, all employees of the Transferor Company in service on the Effective Date could become employees of the Transferee Company on such date without any break or interruption in service and on terms and conditions not less favorable than those subsisting with reference to the Transferor Company as on the effective date. The main object of transfer of any undertaking under the scheme is to see the continuance of business, at that undertaking, under the control of Transferee Company. So the transferor company should arrange to maintain the cadre and number in service on the effective date who are willing to get transferred to the transferee company

7. Declaration of Dividend: Transferee Company
Dividend declared by the transferee company, after the Appointed Date, is payable to members of the transferor company also. And this does not violate the provisions of section 205 of Companies Act, 1956. While it is true that unless court sanctions the scheme, it would not become effective, but once the court accords its sanction, it would become effective from the Appointed Date. So the shareholders of Transferor Company become shareholders of Transferee Company from ‘Appointed Date’ itself. Hence they are entitled to any dividend declared by Transferee Company after ‘Appointed Date’.