Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

70% of firms 'to restructure'

More than two-thirds of Irish companies are planning to restructure their business this year, a survey has found.

PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) Business Barometer survey found that 70% of businesses hope to make significant changes in the year ahead, even as they believe the process will be a "significant challenge" for them.

Some 87% of those surveyed said their business had become more viable since they restructured. PwC restructuring partner Brian Bergin said the restructuring process for many businesses had moved beyond the company's operations towards the funding of the business itself.

"The key challenge ... is achieving buy-in (from all those involved).

"There is no doubt that excellent people engagement is critical for successful restructuring and for the benefits to be sustainable," said Mr Bergin.

Most restructuring planned for the year ahead involves a "streamlining process" with job cuts (48%) and debt restructuring (35%) the other main objectives cited by those surveyed.

PwC restructuring and insolvency director Declan McDonald said: "In many cases corporate debt has become unsustainable, and hence the requirement to restructure.

"To do this any business should ensure that it is in good shape operationally prior to looking for any debt restructuring agreement with its lenders, and prepare a realistic plan demonstrating the future viability and debt capacity of the business."