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CET Group exit for Dunedin in secondary buyout

CET Group Holdings Limited (“CET”), a provider of specialist insurance and materials testing services, has been sold in November 2018 by its majority owner, private equity fund Dunedin, in a secondary buyout transaction to Palatine Private Equity for an undisclosed amount.

WayPoint had supported CET in a very successful turnaround since Nick Winks became Chairman and CRO in May 2010 and was later joined by Andy Pearson as interim CFO and latterly finance NED. Revenues grew from £14m in 2011 to £32m in 2018, in part through a string of initially small but very successful bolt on acquisitions. Underlying EBITDA was reported at £3.7m in 2018.

Nick Winks commented “WayPoint is very pleased to have contributed over several years to an excellent investment outcome for Dunedin from the sale of a high performing business.”

Sure Maintenance sold to Lakehouse Group plc

AIM-listed Lakehouse Group plc announced in September 2015 that it had acquired Sure Maintenance Services Limited (“Sure”) for a disclosed initial consideration of £6.5m. Sure is a provider of gas servicing, maintenance and installation to social housing clients throughout the UK.

WayPoint had supported the turnaround of Sure since late 2010 fulfilling the roles of CRO Chairman and CFO. In that period, Sure turned from an indebted and loss-making business in 2010 to a £25m business with strong operating margins.

Nick Winks commented “Sure had turned around very well over the 5 years we had been involved and we were pleased to deliver a good exit for its longstanding PE investor Graphite Capital.”

Leading the WayPoint

Company management should seek help voluntarily to aid turnaround approach


WayPoint Change LLP was founded in 2006 in response to the growing need for a joined-up turnaround approach. Delivered through individuals with complementary skills working together, this approach became known as a ‘boutique’. Seven years later, WayPoint’s senior team includes an experienced corporate lawyer (Amanda Allen) and a property specialist (Mark Bayley) as well as turnaround FDs (Andy Pearson and Claire Burden) and CROs (Nick Winks and Paul Herbert).  Other team members are highly skilled in cash management and developing integrated financial forecast models.


Since 2010 we have seen more emphasis on stakeholder-led pressure for change in a company’s performance. Some of this is more about transformation than turnaround. The difference being that transformation is about increasing shareholder value over a period of years, while turnaround is usually about very rapid action to safeguard creditor positions, delivered in a few weeks or months.


‘Since 2012 we have seen more emphasis on stakeholder led pressure for change in a company’s performance’


Nick Winks, senior partner of WayPoint Change, has been leading turnarounds and transformations for 20 years following a career as MD and CEO in both public and private companies. These days he mostly takes executive chairman roles, overseeing the company through initial stabilisation before two or three years of growth followed, usually, by an exit, which he manages.


WayPoint partners are currently working on five transformations and five turnarounds. These involve three of the main banks, one continental bank and four mid-market PE houses. Because of their experience WayPoint members are also often asked to advise on transactions and act as non-executive directors on the boards of public and private companies.


The most common failing WayPoint sees, as do most turnaround and transformation specialists, is that so few company management teams seek help of their own volition. The impetus for change comes too often from advisers, banks or shareholders. If company directors were more proactive in asking for help quickly enough, it is likely issues would be tackled earlier, more effectively and with far better long-term outcomes.


Call Nick on 07973 316 544


Original article appeared in Sunday Telegraph business supplement Business Reporter on 29th September 2013 Click here to read more… 

Catalis SE announces appointment of Nick Winks as CRO


Catalis SE announces results of its Extraordinary General Meeting

 Eindhoven, March 07, 2013 – Yesterday, the Extraordinary General Meeting of Catalis SE took place in Eindhoven.

In total, 6.08% of the company’s share capital was represented at the meeting. The only item of the agenda (nomination of Mr Nick Winks as CRO) was approved unanimously by the attending shareholders.

Catalis is a worldwide leading outsourcing provider focusing on high-end technical services relating to the creation of digital content for the film, video games and software industries. Catalis offers both testing and development services. It operates through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Testronic Labs and Kuju from locations throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. Catalis is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

For further information on Catalis SE and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Testronic Labs, and Kuju, please refer to, and

Nick Winks appointed Chairman of RSL Steeper

In January 2013 Nick Winks was appointed Chairman of RSL Steeper, a Dunedin portfolio business based in Leeds.

RSL Steeper is the leading provider of prosthetic, orthotic and assistive technology services and products.

The cold, calculating image of turnaround specialists has had a makeover – communication and engagement are key new looks

The UK economy has become a breeding ground for poor management and wasted resources. The widening productivity gap has forced many business leaders to seek outside help or risk insolvency – but even then, businesses continue to fail. In many cases, this is because leaders are leaving it too late before they seek help. Others, however, are simply being let down by a system that is proving too impersonal.

In business turnaround, an alternative to the insolvency process, specialists are called upon to help distressed businesses achieve their potential where profound and radical change is required. But contrary to common belief, it’s not just about crunching numbers and modifying business, but also the people within that business – an approach that experts are referring to as ‘the human side’ of turnaround.


Amanda Allen joins WayPoint

WayPoint Change is delighted to announce that Amanda Allen has become WayPoint’s legal counsel. Amanda is a senior corporate finance lawyer with over 25 years’ experience of working with companies and management teams. As a former partner at Pinsent Curtis and Hammonds, where she headed up the Engineering and Automotive Sector Team, she advises on mergers and acquisitions, disposals, reorganisations, joint ventures and restructurings.

Described as dynamic with a “go getting style” by legal publication Chambers & Partners, Amanda provides general business advisory support for clients focusing on exit strategies and continuity planning. Her expertise includes structuring acquisitions and sales as well as other corporate transactions and raising finance. She also works as a consultant and adviser to privately owned and public companies and individual entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the appointment, WayPoint senior partner Nick Winks said “Amanda’s background and experience is a terrific complement to WayPoint’s growing team strength in business turnaround. Her deep legal  skills will be invaluable as we take on larger and more complex projects going forwards”.

Adventis role ends with sale of remaining businesses

AIM listed marketing services company, Adventis Group Plc, has gone into administration following the announcement that it had agreed terms for the sale of its two remaining businesses.

Nick Winks and Andy Pearson had been appointed Chairman and Finance Director respectively in Spring 2011 as a result of bank and shareholder concern at the group’s deteriorating performance. The loss making Health division was closed in September 2011 and two businesses forming the Media division were sold to trade buyers in early 2012 allowing the Group to completely focus on its growing and profitable Technology division. Adventis had sought an equity fundraising to deal with legacy debt and earnout liabilities but that had proved impossible: as a result in May 2012 the Group announced plans to sell its remaining asset, the Technology division.

In June 2012 RCapital Partners acquired the banks debt position together with its security rights for an undisclosed sum and terms were agreed in July 2012 for the sale of the two Technology division businesses to newly formed vehicles backed by RCapital Partners. Those transactions were concluded immediately after the parent entered administration.

Nick Winks commented “This was a reasonably complex services business turnaround which had significant legacy problems, including high debt and earnout liabilities. Whilst we’re disappointed that ultimately we could not restore equity value for shareholders, most other stakeholders have seen a satisfactory ending: almost all jobs were safeguarded and the businesses have successfully been transferred to new owners. At the same time bank debt and trade suppliers have been largely repaid”.

SEG plc role completed following successful re-banking

In 2009 WayPoint Change partners Nick Winks and Paul Herbert were asked by the Group’s banker, Lloyds Banking Group, to help this AIM listed engineering business.

Nick Winks joined the company’s main board and Paul Herbert joined the board of the main operating company. In 2011, after resigning their board positions, Nick and Paul were appointed by LBG to be the banks advisers on S.E.G.  The company successfully raised fresh equity in 2010 and 2011 and was able to secure additional funding from a major shareholder in 2012. This last restructure enabled LBG to be repaid their debt in full in August 2012.

WayPoint supports Electranet turnaround

Electranet Group Logo         This private equity backed business offers integrated systems to provide buildings with security and environmental controls.

After several years of serious losses, in March 2012 Palatine Private Equity invited Nick Winks of WayPoint Change to become Chairman to lead a fundamental review of the business and return it to profitability. Claire Burden, also of WayPoint Change, was appointed in March 2012 to help the business manage and forecast cash.

By May 2012 an operational and balance sheet restructure had been completed giving the business an opportunity to return to profitability in the financial year starting in September 2012.