Business restructuring

Helping businesses towards success

Turning your business around, when you need it

Businesses that are failing, under stress or in serious financial difficulty have a few common characteristics. Owners or executives can be paralysed by the hope that things will turn around, though something is clearly not working.

It’s an understandable reaction. Many leaders have put their life into growing their business, and seeing it falter is a bitter pill to swallow. But they have to act, because there is often still a way to save what they have and structure to make their business a success in the future.

That’s what Business Restructuring services exist to do. They’re the tried and tested methods for appraising, reviewing and restructuring organisations to save them from going under. Should the business require, insolvency services and other exit strategies can be used to manage business closure in a controlled and manageable fashion.

How PwC can help

At PwC, we know that business restructuring is a sensitive and trying time for any owner – one in which the future of your hard-earned business is at stake. We focus on delivering what needs to be done, having those tough, realistic conversations with you, and recovering your business. We understand why businesses can falter, and have the resources to help you steady the ship.

It costs nothing to get to know us, and we want to play a part in keeping Kiwi companies fighting fit.

Business appraisals

At some stage, the business you own, have invested in or have lent to may be going through a difficult time. When you are immersed in the day-to-day running of your operation it can sometimes be difficult to identify problems.

A business appraisal is an independent review of a company by people who are experienced at identifying problem areas, helping stakeholders understand their position, and bringing you solutions to get everything back under control. At PwC, we’re frequently engaged to do this through the services such as:

  • reviewing the strategic direction of the operation
  • commenting on the operational effectiveness
  • reviewing budgets and overheads
  • analysing the operation’s cash flows
  • identifying surplus assets
  • reviewing governance structures and management
  • making recommendations to the appointee.

Business turnaround

Our business turnaround team helps businesses of all sizes address their poor performance. This usually involves reviewing strategic, operational, and financial issues which help provide a much-needed performance boost in a structured and sustainable way.

Our services are specific to a client’s needs, though typically involve:

  • strategic assessment
  • process improvement
  • asset redeployment
  • cost realignment
  • performance benchmarking
  • interim management
  • tax structuring
  • corporate finance advice.

Corporate reorganisation

Sometimes you need to shuffle the pack. Our Corporate Reorganisation team has decades of hands-on, practical experience working with businesses (large and small) across New Zealand, and assisting them in two main ways.

In the first instance, PwC helps to streamline corporate structures, dispose of unwanted entities and distribute funds to shareholders. We do this by delivering a complete and integrated approach – from analysing current company structures, financial position, tax and legal issues to then advising and implementing a solid action plan. Experience teaches us that there’s almost always something you can do to reorganise your business – whether that involves amalgamations, ‘short-form’ removals, liquidations or share buy-backs – and we like to think broadly to put viable options on your table.

In other situations, PwC helps with an exit out of the under-performing business. The decision to divest can mean a huge internal commitment at a time when you need to focus on the continuing operations of your business. To help, we offer valuable commercial solutions specific to your situation and focused on minimising risk while maximising return. Our team will provide an assessment of divestment and reorganisation alternatives, formulate a suitable project plan, manage the formal shut down of operations and resolve any post-closure issues that might spring up.

Pre-lending review

Occasionally, a bank or a finance company may ask you to commission a pre-lending review when they have been requested to provide or increase finance facilities to your business.

A pre-lending review may range from a comprehensive health-check to being more specific – like examining a particular contract for which you require project finance, reviewing your budgeting or forecasting procedures, or considering the risks associated with expanding your business.

PwC’s team are able to provide a pre-lending review aimed at fairly assessing your business, and even creating value in the process. Armed with a pre-lending review report, most businesses will find negotiations around funding take less time and may even be less costly.

Voluntary administration

When a company is in financial distress, voluntary administration is designed to benefit all creditors – not just secured or unsecured forms – and gives a business breathing room to get its affairs in order. 

This allows an appointed administrator time to come in and rearrange or restructure the company to avoid liquidation.

PwC’s Business Restructuring team have experience assisting with voluntary administration, giving companies a chance to find other solutions other than winding up.

A list of companies in Voluntary administration


Should the shareholders of a company wish to wind down certain operations, they will often place it into solvent liquidation. It’s a delicate time, and requires the company to realise its assets, resolve outstanding matters and settle the claims of all creditors, and distribute surplus assets to shareholders.

PwC can help, assisting in all stages of the solvent liquidation process and delivering results in an appropriate and timely manner.

With PwC’s wider tax, assurance and business restructuring teams on hand, we aim to simplify groups and create a more cost efficient company structure, protect knowledge within the organisation as senior executives depart, and create savings in tax, audit and financial accounting costs.

Click here to find out more about our liquidation team.

A list of companies in liquidation


When a company fails to repay its debts, secured creditors have the option to enforce repayment through receivership. At this point, an independent third party is appointed as receiver, and can recover outstanding amounts by taking possession of, and realising, any secured assets to repay the outstanding debts.

A receiver can be appointed in two ways: either by the secured creditor, who acts under the terms of a security agreement, or by the Court under via an application by the secured creditor.

PwC is able to help with receivership services. When deemed appropriate, we might also be asked by a secured creditor or the Court to run the business and protect its value for a given period of time.

A list of companies in receivership

Statutory management

From time to time, the Government will appoint PwC as statutory managers in circumstances where a corporation is experiencing severe financial difficulties and no other sustainable remedy is available, no other conventional market or legal solutions can adequately protect the public, or where shareholders or creditor interests are believed to be at risk.

PwC’s Statutory Management team act by preserving the interests of the company’s members, creditors, beneficiaries or the public interest when the business falters; allowing the affairs of the company to be dealt with in a more orderly fashion; and/or preventing the carrying out of any fraudulent activity.

We’re proud to say we’re trusted to carry out this important role, helping protect the interests of NZ Inc. 

Schemes of arrangement

Losing the trust of your creditors is something that could happen to any business when it’s hit by financial distress. A Scheme of Arrangement (SoA) can remedy that situation by reassuring creditors through the binding effect of a contractual agreement.

It’s all about compromise, which is where PwC’s Business Restructuring team comes in. The flexibility provided by an SoA means creditors can approve the restructuring of a debt, among other compromises, with the financially distressed business.

Our specialists have put together various Schemes of Arrangement in New Zealand. We can advise on their particular aspects and act as administrators throughout its lifespan.

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Business Restructuring Services specialists


Lara Bennett

Executive Director - Property, Infrastructure & Capital, Trustee - PwC Foundation , Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 521 974


John Fisk

Partner, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 492 052


Stephen White

Partner, Business Restructuring Services, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 27 801 4019


Craig Sanson

Director, Auckland, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 766 613



Malcolm Hollis

Executive Director, Canterbury, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 590 422



Wendy Somerville

Director, Waikato, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 814 217



Richard Nacey

Partner, Wellington, PwC New Zealand

+64 21 765 789


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