Original Research

A qualitative exploration of the bidding processes used in business rescue

Shaneen Conradie, Christiaan Lamprecht
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 15, No 1 | a771 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v15i1.771 | © 2022 Shaneen Conradie, Christiaan Lamprecht | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 March 2022 | Published: 26 September 2022

About the author(s)

Shaneen Conradie, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Christiaan Lamprecht, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Orientation: In business rescue, when pursuing the sale of the business to a third party, the business rescue practitioner (BRP) may use different bidding processes to interact with and select buyers.

Research purpose: This study aimed to provide a framework to classify and describe the various bidding processes, including identifying the factors that would preserve value to the benefit of creditors and shareholders.

Motivation for the study: Chapter 6 of the Companies Act is silent on the requirements regarding bidding processes. Therefore, the industry and legislator may benefit from guidance from industry experts.

Research approach/design and method: Qualitative exploratory, using semi-structured interviews with 11 South African senior business rescue practitioners.

Main findings: Three types of bidding processes were identified. In a sophisticated bidding process, information is communicated to buyers using a virtual data room. The second bidding process is less sophisticated; printed document packs are provided to bidders, and bids are submitted in tender boxes. Thirdly, the private bid-out process, where preferred bidders compete against each other in a closed envelope boardroom auction. The findings also revealed that deal certainty is more important in business rescue than ordinary mergers and acquisitions. Moreover, an equitable value, rather than a general market value, is often applied because of the bidding process. Lastly, the study identified a need for the pre-involvement of the BRP before a company files for business rescue, an aspect not currently allowed by the Companies Act.

Practical/managerial implications: BRPs can benefit from the explication of the types and detailed steps of bidding processes. Moreover, the findings fill the void of limited guidance in the Companies Act.

Contribution/value-add: The classification and description of the various bidding processes and key considerations in the context of a business rescue will assist BRPs in South Africa in preserving value under business rescue and guide the legislator in amending the Companies Act.


acquisitions; bankruptcy sales; bidding; business rescue; distressed investing; mergers; restructuring; tender


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