The board of a company that is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the company will, immediately after the distribution, satisfy the solvency test may, subject to section 53 and the constitution of the company, authorise a distribution by the company at a time, and of an amount, and to any shareholders it thinks fit.
The directors who vote in favour of a distribution must sign a certificate stating that, in their opinion, the company will, immediately after the distribution, satisfy the solvency test and the grounds for that opinion.
If, after a distribution is authorised and before it is made, the board ceases to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the company will, immediately after the distribution is made, satisfy the solvency test, any distribution made by the company is deemed not to have been authorised.
In applying the solvency test for the purposes of this section and section 56,—
debts includes fixed preferential returns on shares ranking ahead of those in respect of which a distribution is made (except where that fixed preferential return is expressed in the constitution as being subject to the power of the directors to make distributions), but does not include debts arising by reason of the authorisation; and
liabilities includes the amount that would be required, if the company were to be removed from the New Zealand register after the distribution, to repay all fixed preferential amounts payable by the company to shareholders, at that time, or on earlier redemption (except where such fixed preferential amounts are expressed in the constitution as being subject to the power of directors to make distributions); but, subject to paragraph (a), does not include dividends payable in the future.
Every director who fails to comply with subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to the penalty set out in section 373(1).