How to use the vehicle of a sale/leaseback to undergo a tax advantaged recapitalization
We had a client that prior to our involvement, had suffered major losses from the departure of three major accounts that had taken their business overseas. The owner had advanced large sums to keep the business going, since no bank was willing to take a chance on the company after three years of losses and an overleveraged and undercapitalized financial condition. Since no lender was in the picture, we advised him to consider selling some of the company’s production equipment to him and leasing it back to the company, particularly since the company had rebounded from its earlier difficulties and was now making profits. The result was an arm’s length sale at the appraised value of the equipment which was significantly higher than its depreciated book value. A capital gain was incurred but that tax was offset by the cumulative losses of the business. The owner entered into a sale/leaseback contract with the company and for the first time in three years, was able to receive some compensation in the form of lease payments, the majority of which were, in turn, shielded from tax because of the increased depreciation of the equipment he purchased in exchange for his original debt to the company. The result was a tax advantaged recapitalization of the company and the road to fiscal health.