Introduction:

The merger is a combination of two or more entities into one; it is not just the accumulation of assets and liabilities of the distinct entities, but the organization of the entity into one business. The merger requires a complete restructuring of the company as the two companies are merged into one single entity. As a result of the merger of two companies either a new entity is formed or is merged into the entity of one of the merging company.

Sections 230 to 232 of the Companies Act provides for the cumbersome and time-consuming procedure of merger. The sections provided that all types of companies going through merger have to obtain the clearances from the regulatory bodies. Whereas the section 233 of the Companies Act, 2013 which has been added in the act on 15 December 2016 deals with the fast track mergers of two or more small companies or between a holding company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Applicability:

2 (two) or more Small Companies:  A small company (Section 2(85)) is a company other than a public company with paid up capital not exceeding INR 50 lacs [or such higher amount as may be prescribed not exceeding INR 10 crores] and turnover as per P&L A/c of immediately preceding financial year does not exceed INR 2 crores [or such higher amount as may be prescribed not exceeding INR 100 crores].

Holding and its Wholly Owned Subsidiary: A holding company (Section 2(46)) can avail the benefit of this section for merger of its wholly-owned subsidiary (Section 2(87)) into itself. Holding company and its wholly-owned subsidiary can be a public or private company or a Section 8 Company.

Such other class or classes of companies as may be prescribed:  Section 233 and the Companies (Compromise, Arrangementü and Amalgamations) Rules, 2016 have been enforced effective from 15.12.2016, but such other class or classes of companies not yet notified.

Procedure of Fast Track Merger

Following is the procedure which the companies have to follow for the fast track merger under the Section 233 of the Companies Act, 2013 –

Step 1: Convene a Board Meeting: Both the transferee and transferor company has to convene a board meeting to initiate the process of a fast track merger. The board meeting so convened has to pass following board resolutions:

  • Approval of the scheme of fast track merger,
  • To fix the date, time and place for convening the meeting of shareholders,
  • To fix the date, time and place for convening the meeting of creditors.

Step 2: Notice of Proposed Scheme: The notice of the proposed scheme required under Section 233(1)(a) of the Companies Act,2013 is given to invite objections or suggestions to the fast track merger. It shall be sent to:

  • The office of Registrar of Companies (ROC) or
  • The office of official liquidators where registered office of the respective companies are situated or
  • Persons affected by the scheme along with a copy of the Scheme.

Step 3: Time period for Objections/ Suggestion: The objections/ suggestions if any shall be made within 30 (Thirty) days of the issue of notice, by the transferor company or companies and the transferee company. Objection/ Suggestion received by the companies are considered in the general meeting and it must be approved by respective members holding at least ninety percent of total number of shares.

Step 4: Filing a declaration of solvency with ROC: Both the transferee and transferor company has to a file a declaration of solvency in Form CAA-10 with the Registrar of Companies under whose jurisdiction the register office is situated.

Step 5: Convening creditors meeting:  Both the transferee and the transferor company have to convene a meeting of the members or class of members and creditors or class or creditors for their approval to the scheme of merger. A notice has to be sent within 21 days and the notice must include:

  • A statement disclosing the details of the arrangement or compromise, as referred to in Section 230(3) of the Act read with the sub-rule (3) of rule 6 of the Rules.
  • Declaration of solvency made in Form No. CAA 10.
  • Copy of Scheme.

The scheme of the merger has to be approved by a majority of the creditors representing 9/10 of the creditors or class of creditors present in the meeting.

Step 6: Filing of the Scheme:  A copy of the scheme has to be submitted along with the result of each of the meetings with Regional Director. A copy of the scheme along with the form CAA 11 within seven days from the conclusion of the meeting of members or creditors to the office of Registrar Of Companies having jurisdiction in the form GNL 1 and to the office of Official Liquidator through hand delivery or by speed post or registered post.

Step 7: Approval of Scheme by Regional Director: Following are the steps involved in getting the approval of regional director:

  • If on receiving the copy of scheme, the Registrar Of Companies or the official liquidator has no objection or suggestion to the scheme then the same shall be registered by the Regional Director and he will issue the confirmation to the merging companies.
  • If on receipt of the scheme the ROC or official liquidator has some objections or suggestions to the scheme he may communicate the same to the Regional Director in writing within a period of thirty days. If no such communication is made by the ROC or the official liquidator it shall be assumed that there is no objection to the scheme.
  • If objections or the suggestions have been received by the Regional director in due time and after receiving the same he is of the opinion that the objection or suggestion is not in the public interest or is not in the interest of the creditors then he may file an application before the Tribunal in Form No. CAA.13 within a period of sixty days of the receipt of the scheme under sub-section (2) stating its objections and requesting that the Tribunal may consider the scheme under section 232.
  • On receipt of an application from the Regional Director or from any person, if the Tribunal, for reasons to be recorded in writing, is of the opinion that the scheme should be considered as per the procedure laid down in section 232, the Tribunal may direct accordingly or it may confirm the scheme by passing such order as it deems fit.
  • If the Regional Director does not have any objection to the scheme or it does not file an application under this section before the Tribunal, it shall be deemed that it has no objection to the scheme.
  • Where no objection or suggestion is received to the scheme from the ROC and Official Liquidator or where the objection or suggestion of ROC and Official Liquidator is deemed to be not sustainable and the Regional Director is of the opinion that the scheme is in the public interest or in the interest of creditors, the Regional Director shall issue a confirmation order of such scheme of merger or amalgamation in Form No. CAA. 12.

Step 8: Filing of Confirmation Order with the ROC: For the effective fast track merger both the transferee and the transferor company has to submit a copy of order conforming the scheme of fast track merger from the tribunal or the regional director to the office of the ROC. The persons concerned and the ROC shall register the scheme and issue a confirmation to the companies and such confirmation shall be communicated to the ROC where Transferor Company or companies were situated.

Effect of Registration of Scheme:

The registration of the scheme shall have the following effects:

a. Dissolution of transferor Companies:Upon The registration of the scheme, Transferor Company or Companies shall be deemed to have the effect of dissolution without process of winding-up.

b. Transfer of property or liabilities:Transfer of property or liabilities of the transferor company to the transferee company so that the property becomes the property of the transferee company and the liabilities become the liabilities of the transferee company.

c. Charge:The charges, if any, on the property of the transferor company shall be applicable and enforceable as if the charges were on the property of the transferee company.

d. Legal Proceeding:Legal proceedings by or against the transferor company pending before any court of law shall be continued by or against the transferee company.

e. Additional Liability:Where the scheme provides for purchase of shares held by the dissenting shareholders or settlement of debt due to dissenting creditors, such amount, to the extent it is unpaid, shall become the liability of the transferee company.

Transferee company compliances

a. Restrictions on holding shares in its own name by Transferee Companies:

A transferee company shall not on merger or amalgamation, hold any shares in its own name or in the name of any trust either on its behalf or on behalf of any of its subsidiary or associate company and all such shares shall be cancelled or extinguished post merger or amalgamation.

b. Authorized Capital:

The transferee company shall file an application with the Registrar along with the scheme registered, indicating the revised authorized capital and pay the prescribed fees due on revised capital.

c. Registration Fee:

The fee, if any, paid by the transferor company on its authorized capital prior to its merger or amalgamation with the transferee company shall be set-off against the fees payable by the transferee company on its enhanced authorized capital due to merger or amalgamation balance if any shall be paid.

Conclusion:

The time taken to complete the merger/ amalgamation through court process and the cost involved in it, is saved substantially. The simplification of process will encourage corporate entities to undertake merger/amalgamation activities and will help small companies in strengthening their position in the market and become more competitive and exhibit a better bargaining power in the market.

Author Bio

Qualification: Student - CA/CS/CMA
Company: N/A
Location: Nashik, Maharashtra, IN
Member Since: 05 Jul 2019 | Total Posts: 1

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2 Comments

  1. Yogesh Solanki says:

    Though you have put the bare process which is already given in the act … What is the purpose of such a document after two and a half years?

    1. Rucha says:

      Hi. While i appreciate that u read the article, i dont think it is appropriate to pass a negative comment… Author has put on efforts and is appreciable…
      Good job author… Keep it up…

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