Probably yes. As long as the business and assets have been openly marketed and your offer is the best received by the acting insolvency practitioner - and here is the point in many liquidations the only offer made for the business and assets is from the former shareholder/directors so as long as you offer more than breakup value the chances are that the business and assets will be yours (again).
This is hardly surprising as the previous owner/managers will know more about the assets than anyone else.
Also whilst there are practical difficulties and it should only be done under advice there needn't be any cessation in trading as the company can trade up to the date of the liquidation and the chances are the liquidator will be only too keen to sell the business and assets as soon as he/she is appointed. So you have every chance of getting the business and assets back relatively intact without the liabilities and subject to following the correct procedures you should be able to use the same or a similar name.
What's more following a favourable run of legal cases even the employee liabilities no longer automatically transfer to the purchaser if the business is sold by a liquidator. On the subject of employee (including directors) liabilities these get paid by the government up to certain statutory limits, for example an employee with 10 years' service can probably expect to receive £10,000+ in addition to possibly getting a job from the new company.
However, each situation is fact specific and there are many potential pitfalls including:
So it sounded too good to be true and now the potential pitfalls make it sound like a nightmare. But all these risks are usually manageable in some way with careful planning and probably amount to less than the risk to directors of trading on when their company is insolvent and only a miracle can save it.
Whether to carry on or call it a day and try to buy your business back from an insolvency practitioner needs careful consideration and as licensed insolvency practitioners ourselves if you ever find yourself in that situation we would be delighted to help you weigh up those choices.
If you need assistance with business rescue or insolvency, call us on 0800 331 7417.