Hans is the Managing Director of Independent Advisory (Pty) Limited and a former Director of the South African Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association (SARIPA) Hans has attended many conferences of INSOL INTERNATIONAL, a world-wide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialise in turnaround and insolvency. He is also a member of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA).
At the INSOL Conference in Dubai during February 2010 Hans was one of two South Africans who sat on panel discussions at the conference. He is also presently the Chairman of INSOL's Small Practice Committee and served on the Technical Committee for INSOL's next Regional Conference in Miami held in May 2012. During May 2012 Hans was appointed to and served on the Board of Directors of INSOL INTERNATIONAL until March 2015.
A major milestone in Hans’ career in recent years was his appointment as Joint liquidator to Consolidated News Agencies (CNA), one of the largest and most controversial liquidations in recent times in 2002 and procured the successful restructuring and sale of CNA to Edcon.
In November 1996 Hans founded Hans Klopper Inc – Attorneys (Specialising in Insolvency Law). During the late 90’s he was appointed as Curator of Kwa Zulu Natal and Regional Medical Aid Schemes which were the first curatorships in terms of the then new Medical Schemes Act of 1998. Also, during this period, he acted as receiver for creditors in the matter of IGI Insurance Company Ltd, one of South Africa’s biggest short term insurance companies which was placed under curatorship.
He has been serving as a Trustee of Genesis Medical Scheme since February 2000 and is presently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Hans previously served on Northern Provinces Law Society’s Committee for Insolvencies and Liquidations and on the Insolvency Standing Committee of the Law Society of South Africa.
From 1990 to 1996 Hans was a director at Hofmeyr Inc. (previously Hofmeyr Van Der Merwe Inc, now known as Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr). During this period he assisted the Joint Judicial Managers of Crusader Life Assurance Corporation in the first Judicial Management of this nature in South Africa.
During the 1980’s Hans held a Managerial position in the Insolvency Department of a Syfrets Trust (Pretoria) and attended to the liquidation of Triomf Fertilizer Richardsbay (Pty) Ltd, one of the largest liquidations in the legal history of South Africa. Hans also assisted in the liquidation of A A Mutual life Assurance Company.
Hans is presently actively involved the restructuring and Business Rescue of multiple businesses. He regularly presents numerous workshops, lectures and has written on this topic. He recently co-published an article The Stellenbosch Law Review – Vol 25 - No 3 – 2014 “ Averting Liquidations with Business Rescue: Does a Section 155 Compromise Place the Bar too High?
He is one of the authors of the Ninth Edition of THE RESTRUCTURING REVIEW published in the United Kingdom during September 2016.
Professional profile on restructuring
At the very outset of the change of legislation in South Africa in 2011, when the Companies Act 71 of 2008 came into Law on 1 May 2011, Hans Klopper was at the forefront of restructuring companies under financial distress and within the first month restructured possibly the first close corporation (CC) in financial distress which was not possible before. Since May 2011 Hans and Dawie van der Merwe, attended to by far the most restructuring matters in South Africa, some of which were highly complex and unprecedented in South African law
Some of the Matters:
Highveld Syndications 15-22 are eight companies that filed for business rescue pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Companies Act because of financial distress. These companies were responsible to pay monthly interest to some 18,231 investors. During September 2011 the directors of these eight companies decided to adopt resolutions to place the companies under business rescue and appointed Hans Klopper as business rescue practitioner. At the time liquidation of at least one of the companies was looming. Within a period of three months Hans succeeded to negotiate and published a business rescue plan on 30 November 2011. Investors and creditors, at a meeting held on 14 December 2011 voted in favour of the adoption of the plan by an overwhelming majority of more than 99% of those present and voting. The plan is currently being implemented under difficult circumstances.
- Southnet Group consisted of some forty-six companies where Hans was appointed as business rescue practitioner in a number of the companies in the group and enjoined with the responsibility to adopt business rescue plans. Successful plans to dispose of the companies’ immovable properties in the best interest of creditors were adopted.
- Polmaise Colliery (Pty) Ltd, a coal mine in Mpumalanga, adopted a resolution for business rescue during the latter part of 2011 and Hans negotiated and developed the business rescue plan that was finally adopted on 7 February 2011 and which entailed a term settlement of the company’s creditors.
- Pearl Valley Golf Estate (Pty) Ltd, one of the top and prestigious golf developments in South Africa where the South African Open was held twice, adopted a resolution to file for business rescue during May 2012. Hans successfully negotiated with the major creditors and shareholders pursuant to which the business rescue plan was published during November 2012 and adopted in December 2012. The company’s business rescue ended in early January 2013 and the business was handed back to its shareholders after a successful restructuring.
- The Basileus Group of Companies became financially distressed pursuant to events during July 2012 as a consequence of which some eleven companies in the group of 72 companies adopted resolutions for business rescue. Hans was appointed as one of the joint business rescue practitioners. Amongst the companies was SA Superalloys in which some four hundred investors invested. Business rescue plans in 9 of the 11 companies have been adopted and are in the process of being implemented. Hans recently negotiated and finalised a pre-packed rescue of Avalloy (Pty) Limited which was finalised in two weeks from the commencement of business rescue.
- Wedgewood Village Golf and Country Estate is a golf development near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The company that owns the golf course was formerly part of the liquidated Pinnacle Point Group and was discharged from liquidation during January 2013 and where Hans Klopper was appointed business rescue practitioner on 5 February 2013. In terms of the provisions of the Companies Act a business rescue plan had to be published on 12 March 2013. However, a business rescue plan was published on 25 February 2013 and adopted on 15 March 2013. This plan entails Hans’ involvement until 2016.
- Galaxy Jewellers (Pty) Limited is a national chain of retail jewellery stores operating in some 77 stores across the entire RSA. Hans was appointed as a joint business rescue during October 2015. A Business Rescue Plan was published on 22 February 2016 and adopted on 1 March 2016.
- Dilokong Chrome Mine (Pty Limited operates a chrome mine in Limpopo province and was placed under business rescue in March 2016. The restructuring and business rescue process is ongoing.