Is Converting a Public Company into Private Beneficial?


There are various types of business organizations like a sole proprietorship, Hindu undivided family (HUF), partnership, limited liability partnership, co-operative society etc. A company is one such form of business organization and inarguably one of the best forms of business organization all over the world. The word ‘company’ has no strict definition per se. It can simply be defined as an association of people who join together to run a business and share their profits and losses. Given the Indian perspective, the term ‘company’ is defined under Section 2 (20) of the Companies Act, 2013. The act defines it as a Company incorporated under this Act or any previous Company law.

Due to the limited nature of the definition under the Companies Act; it becomes necessary to understand a much more elaborated definition. In the nineteenth century, Lord Justice Lindley defined a company as an association of many people who contribute money or monies worth to common stock and employed in some trade or business and share the profit and loss arising from the form. the common stock so contributed is denoted in money and is the capital of the Company. The person who contribute to it or  to whom it pertains are members. The shares are always transferable although the right to transfer is often more or less restricted.

What is a Public Company?

The two most familiar ways individuals have grasped the term is that a public limited company can offer shares to the public. Its articles and financial statements are public reports available to the overall population. It is an unmistakable legitimate substance with a limited obligation. Public companies generally exchange on the stock trade, and aggregate capital from buying their securities to the public. India has a sum of 23 stock trades with nearly 7,000 public companies.

Segment 2(71) of the Companies Act, 2013 depicts a public company as a company that is not a private company; having a base settled up share capital might be endorsed.

The prerequisite joined to the arrangement conveys that if a private company is an auxiliary of a public company, it will be considered to be a public company for the Act, even where such an auxiliary company keeps on being a private company in its articles. Post the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015, the necessity of a public company having a base settled up share capital of ₹5 lakh or more has been precluded.

A public company might be framed by people among the public including Indian nationals or outsiders. It could be imagined in the public authority, helpful, joint, as well as private sector of the economy. A few instances of public companies are, Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel, Larsen and Tourbo, and so on.

Segment 4(2) of the English Companies Act, 2006 depicts a public company as a company limited by shares or limited by guarantee and having a share capital.

Its endorsement of fuse expresses that it is a public company, and it has followed the prerequisites as to enrollment or re-enlistment concerning the Act, or previous Companies Acts. In like manner, Part 18 of the Irish Companies Act, 2014 states that the obligation of individuals is limited to the sum neglected on shares held by them. Withal, it expects that the ostensible worth of the company’s dispensed share capital should not be under €25 thousand, out of which 25% should be completely paid before the company initiates business or applies any borrowing powers, The meaning of federation above wards is to some degree comparable.

Technique to open a public company in India: Acquire Director Identification Number (DIN) for Director à Obtain their Digital Signatures à Get the name of company endorsed upon accommodation of structure INC 1 à Submit Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association alongside structure INC 7 à Certificate of joining

Salient Features of a Public Limited Company

  1. Least number of endorsers: At least 7 people should buy into the reminder to consolidate a public company.
  2. Limit on most extreme number of individuals: There is no roof on the greatest number of individuals in a public company [Section 2(68)].
  3. Raising of capital: A public company can welcome the public to buy in for any securities of the company. It can give raise capital by giving a plan (Section 23).Communication connecting with the issue of the outline ought to be to the public and not private correspondence. It might likewise give securities via privileges or issue rewards, or through the private arrangement. As per Section 62(2)(a)(i), a lot of freedoms share should be made by a notification indicating the number of shares offered and giving no less than 15 days, not surpassing 30 days from the date of the proposition. If the proposition isn’t acknowledged inside the predefined span, it will be considered to be slanted. Moreover, a public company can make a further issue of shares to its representatives under a plan of worker investment opportunity by passing an exceptional resolution [Section 62(1)(b)]. Earlier, a public company was commanded to present a re-visitation of the enlistment center in regards to changes in shareholding by advertisers and top ten shareholders in 15 days or less. Nonetheless, this retirement has been discarded to work on the consistence.
  4. Least membership: A public company can’t dispense securities without getting the least membership (Section 39).
  5. Move of shares: A public company has no limitations on the movement of shares, subsequently they are unreservedly adaptable [Section 2(68)]. According to Section 44, the two shares and debentures are mobile property equipped for being moved in the way given in the articles.
  6. Acknowledgment of public stores: A public company can acknowledge, as well as welcome stores from the public (Section 76).
  7. Issue of securities in dematerialized structure: Only a public company can give securities in the dematerialised structure (Section 29).
  8. Articles: A public company may either form its articles or support the model articles affixed to the Act. For example Table F accommodates articles onthe relationship of a company limited by shares. Essentially, Table G accommodates articles of relationship of a company limited by guarantee and having a share capital (Section 5).
  9. Arrangement for entrenchment of articles: A public company can change the arrangements for entrenchment as to modification of articles in its article exclusively by passing an extraordinary resolution.
  10. Least number of Directors : A public company should have no less than 3 Directors [Section 149(1)]. According to Section 162, the arrangement of every director ought to be made by a different vote. The top managerial staff can fill a relaxed opportunity in the workplace of a Director.
  11. Majority for the comprehensive gathering: The majority fluctuates with the number of individuals from the company. The majority might go from 5 to 30 relying upon the number of individuals in the company. For e.g., the majority is 15 on the off chance that individuals are more than 1000 (Section 103).
  12. Report on yearly regular gathering: A report must be ready and be documented with the enlistment center, ensuing to each yearly regular gathering (Section 121).
  13. Administrative compensation: The complete compensation shouldn’t surpass 11% of the net benefits of the company except if an extraordinary resolution is passed (Section 197). According to Section 67(2), a public company isn’t allowed to give financial help, via credit, guarantee or in any case with the end resolution of acquisition of any shares by any individual in the company or any of its holding company.
  14. Constitution of the review board of trustees and designation and compensation council: Every recorded public company, all public companies with a settled up share capital of ₹10 crores or more, and all public companies having incumulative, remarkable credits, or borrowings, or debentures, or stores surpassing ₹50 crores or more, will comprise a review panel and selection and compensation board of trustees (Section 177 and 178).
  15. Secretarial review: According to Section 204(1), each company having settled up capital of ₹50 crores or more or having a turnover of ₹250 crores or more will add-on a secretarial review report alongside its director’s report.
  16. Revolution of inspectors and review firm: No recorded company is permitted to delegate a person for more than one term of more than five back to back years or a review firm for multiple terms of five sequential years. This will apply to just those unlisted public companies which have a settled up share capital of ₹10 crores or more, and other public companies having settled up share capital of under ₹10 crores yet having public borrowings from either financial institutions or banks, or public stores of ₹50 crores or more.
  17. SEBI Regulations: Only regulations told by SEBI are appropriate on account of public recorded companies.

What is a Private Company?

A private company is claimed by either few shareholders, company individuals, or a non-legislative association, and it doesn’t make its stocks available for purchase to the overall population. All things being equal, its stock is offered, claimed, or traded privately among few shareholders – or even held by a solitary person. Private companies are additionally alluded to as privately-held companies, limited companies, limited responsibility companies, or private enterprises, contingent upon the nation they’re consolidated and how they are organized.

General Conditions for a Public Company to convert into Private Again

A greater part of public companies starts as private elements, either as a family-possessed business, association, or limited responsibility company with a couple of shareholders and counsels. As the business extends, it regularly requires extra assets to fund its tasks, extension, or securing of other more modest companies past what it can raise from interior income sources and a little circle of financial backers.

Progressing from a private to a public company gives the company admittance to a huge pool of assets in the public trade market. The most common way of turning into a public company includes offering stock to the money management public through an IPO.

The private company intending to open up to the world is expected to choose a guarantor, typically a venture bank, to give direction on the IPO interaction. The guarantor acts as a merchant between the responsible company and the public and is liable for leading the expected level of investment and assisting the backer with exploring all administration and administrative prerequisites for public companies.

At the point when the company opens up to the world, all the privately-held shares are switched over completely to public proprietorship, and existing shares are doled out another worth comparable to the public exchange cost. The first shareholders can decide to clutch their shares when the company opens up to the world or offer them to new financial backers for a benefit.

General Conditions:

Change of course: A private company that neglects to stick to any of the prerequisites spelt out in Section 2(68) loses the honors and exceptions conceded to private companies under the Act. Therefore, it will be denied its status as a private company and be treated as a public company.

Deliberate transformation: According to Section 14 of the Act, a private company can be changed over into a public company by passing a unique resolution at an executive gathering to modify its articles in such design, that it no longer incorporates the limitations, constraints, and denials forced on a private company according to Section 2(68). Resultant of the passing of the resolution, the company has no limitation on the move of shares, the greatest number of individuals, and no preclusion on the solicitation to the public to buy into its shares. The method to change over is as per the following.

Directors or company secretary assemble for holding a load up conference at given date, time, and spot. In 15 days from the passing of the resolution, the modified articles should be recorded with the enlistment center, which will enroll in something similar. The word ‘Pvt.’ needs to be precluded from any place referenced in the articles. In like manner, the company needs to name an extra director, if the number is under three, and increment the number of individuals to seven.

According to Section 15, each change made in the reminder or articles of affiliation will be noted in each duplicate of the update or articles. Default is consenting, can draw a punishment on the company. No endorsement is expected from the focal government for change. The company fails to be a private company from the date of passing of the extraordinary resolution.

When the changed articles have been enrolled, the company will erase the word ‘Pvt.’ from its name. In something like 30 days of the documenting of the modified articles, the enlistment center will stop the past enrollment and issue a new testament of consolidation.

Private companies like Uber, Pinterest, Zoom, and so forth opened up to the world last year. A few prominent Indian public limited companies are Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, and so on.

For what reasons do Private Companies Stay Private?

1. To stay away from administrative and government investigation

Public companies are under high examination from their shareholders, controllers, and the public authority, and they are expected to publicly put out their financial announcements by recording quarterly reports, yearly reports, and other significant occasions with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States, or with a comparable government substance in different nations.

Interestingly, private companies can decide to keep their financial status and tasks to themselves, staying away from government examination and every one of the regulations that apply to publicly exchange companies. There are no legitimate commitments for private companies to unveil their financial statements. In any case, privately held companies should keep their bookkeeping records all together and offer financial expressions accessible to their shareholders.

2. To keep possession inside the family

Companies at times select to remain private to hold their family proprietorship. The absolute greatest US companies are family-possessed, and they’ve been given starting with one age and then onto the next. Opening up to the world would imply that the company would be liable to countless shareholders and may be expected to pick various individuals for the top managerial staff other than the individuals from the establishing family.

Staying private implies that the company alone can conclude who sits on the governing body, and it is simply responsible to a few shareholders or private financial backers. Private companies self-finance their projects and acquisitions without selling enormous value stakes to financial backers through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).


Albeit public companies detest the honor of exceptions and relaxations under the Act, they have their conveniences. Being recorded on the securities exchange, awards it acknowledgment, alongside the ability to welcome the public to buy into its shares. Affirmation draws in new shareholders and financial backers to support further business adventures.

Moreover, according to the point of view of the shareholders, public companies award them straightforwardness, as their financial records are public archives open to all. In addition, it’s responsible for its Actions in customary load up gatherings and responsible for the opportune dissemination of its profits and value. Administrative compliances are appropriate as it is the batter of the public.

As of late, SEBI by notice dated sixth May, 2020, permitted recorded companies to dispatch letters of deal relating to privileges issue of share to shareholders through electronic mode. Besides, SEBI in its gathering hung on 25th June, 2020 has endorsed huge changes to regulations administering recorded companies. It has given a substitute equation to decide the valuing of special shares. It has additionally eliminated any confusion encompassing the obtaining of shares through the mass arrangement, if they are set in an escrow account.

This article is authored by Amin Tanish Pankaj, student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

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