Business Restructuring During COVID-19: Estate Freezes

  • June 10, 2020
  • Nancy E. Claridge and Luis R. Chacin, Carters Professional Corporation

A. Introduction

The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will leave very few businesses unscathed. With some businesses seeing their revenues for March, April and at least part of May dropping down to near zero, short-term working capital concerns have likely been top of mind over the past several weeks, with business owners carefully evaluating the financial support programs available (or soon to become available) by federal and provincial governments, and possibly negotiating existing loan agreements at risk of default. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a significant drop in the market values of almost all asset classes, including real property and private equity.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic may also provide an opportunity to consider fundamental changes to the corporate structure of a business to manage its medium and long-term viability. For example, lower asset values may provide a timely opportunity to consider estate freezes.