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Wilts Wholesale Electrical sold to Rexel

Wilts, the UK’s largest independent distributors of electrical supplies has completed the sale of 59 of its 62 branches to industry leader Rexel which trades under the Newey & Eyre, Rexel and Senate brands in the UK. The transaction involved the sale of the trade, goodwill and stock. Over 95% of Wilts 400 staff transferred to Rexel. In the year ended March 2010, Wilts reported an operating loss of £6.5m on turnover of £83m.

Wilts ceased to trade immediately following the transaction and all bank debt was fully repaid immediately from sale proceeds. The company, now renamed Fernturn Limited, will collect trade debtors and realise property and other retained assets: proceeds will be used to settle trading liabilities, including pension-related debt.

Commenting on the transaction, Nick Winks, CRO of Wilts since October 2010 said “a great deal has been done to improve the underlying operating performance of the Wilts business – substantial cost base and working capital savings have been achieved. However, the continuing tough market climate and resultant continuing losses meant that the best course of action was to move the business on to a strong trade player. An excellent price was obtained and most of the company’s employees have transferred to the new owner.”

Watts PLC – CRO role completed

WayPoint partner Nick Winks was appointed CRO of this national surveying business in September 2010. The business cash flow at that time showed less than two months availability.

Since 2008, in common with the trend in the UK construction sector, Watts had seen fee income more than halved and had been loss making since 2009.

WayPoint led a dramatic cost reduction programme that reduced annual costs by over £1.2m. This involved mainly losing people by way of redundancy.

The cost of the operational restructure, which also involved removing the European subsidiaries from dependence on the UK business, was born partly by HSBC Bank and partly by an innovative salary abatement scheme involving most staff remaining in the business.

By May 2011 Watts was cash positive and profitable on a month by month basis. It has new leadership and is on budget at October 2011 by which time the Bank felt confident enough to return the business to the Network.

$350m turnaround at Aero Inventory takes off

Paul Herbert was appointed Chief Restructuring Officer of Aero Inventory UK in November 2010 after a period of administration.

After six months of operational redesign, stock cleansing and rebranding, the aftermarket supplier of aircraft parts Aero Inventory has returned to trading in the aviation market place. The new brand – aeroinv.com – is now listed on the aerospace Inventory Locator Service (ILS), with extensive breadth of stock spans most major aircraft brands and models, valued at up to up to $350m. Through selling the new surplus condition stock on the largest business-to-business electronic marketplace, aeroinv.com’s parts are available to 60,000 airline, MRO and supply chain specialist customers on a daily basis.

In September 2011 the aircraft parts supplier will be launching its web store www.aeroinv.com offering “buy it now” functionality, transparent pricing and trace documentation online. The soon to be available web store will offer ‘buy it now’ functionality, transparent pricing and trace documentation online. Customers will be able to fast track the RFQ (Request for Quotation) process and therefore benefit from a time-efficient and simplified purchasing process. Prior to the launch of the web store, the company’s 24/7 UK based customer service team will be supporting orders. This complements an experienced international field sales team located throughout the globe.

Mimosa Healthcare Group completes £30m debt restructure

Mimosa is a UK care home operator: Nick Winks of WayPoint was appointed to the Board in August 2010. At the time, Mimosa was suffering from the general tightening in Local Authority budgets and had a £30m debt to Bank of Scotland (“BoS”) that was obviously unsustainable.

After a careful review of the options WayPoint presented a report to BoS explaining how the best option for the company and the bank was a sale and leaseback to repay half of the bank debt in cash and a partial debt forgiveness coupled with a limited warrant as an anti embarrassment for the bank.

BoS asked Ernst & Young Birmingham to look at the WayPoint plan to test if it did indeed provide the optimum solution.

By May 2011 the restructure, as proposed by WayPoint, was put in place and Mimosa continues to trade with much lower gearing whilst BoS has recovered a substantial amount of its original lending package.

Sale of Wells Plastics to Key Capital Partners

Private Equity investor Key Capital Partners (“KCP”) has provided expansion financing to specialist additive masterbatch manufacturer, Wells Plastics (“Wells”), taking a significant minority stake in the company in a multi-million pound management buy-out (MBO) transaction.

Staffordshire-based Wells supplies additives to global plastic manufacturers and processors that are looking to modify the properties of a broad range of plastic and polymer products in order to provide a range of enhanced properties, such as UV resistance, flame retardancy and oxobiodegradability. The end products are then supplied to a variety of sectors, including consumer, automotive, construction and agriculture.

Wells was originally an MBO funded by Lloyds Development Capital. Following a refinancing in 2008, LDC had retained a minority stake. Nick has overseen a significant turnaround in Wells’ performance which has seen a sustainable 20 per cent annual growth rate over recent years, driven largely by the growth in demand for its innovative oxobiodegradable product, Reverte™, which speeds up the natural degradation process of plastic to produce water, carbon dioxide and biomass. Widely acknowledged as the most advanced product of its type in the market, it is used mainly in packaging, particularly for carrier bags and in agriculture, and can reduce the biodegrading time of plastics from centuries to years or even months

Commenting on the transaction, Nick Winks said “I joined Wells in 2005 and became Chairman in June 2009 and I’m proud of what has been achieved. I leave the business with a strong management team in place, and excellent growth prospects under its new owners. For the shareholders this represents an excellent recovery from its impaired value three years ago”. Nick Winks has resigned as Chairman immediately following the transaction.

Nick Winks appointed Chairman of Adventis Group Plc

Further to its announcement released on 27  January 2011, Adventis Group Plc (“ATG.L”) announces with immediate effect the appointment of Nick Winks as Chairman and the resignation as a director of Aubrey Adams who has served as non-executive Chairman of the Group since February 2009 having joined the Board in 2008
Nick, aged 63 years, has been a Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chairman of a number of businesses
Charles Phillpot, Chief Executive of Adventis, commented:  “We are delighted to welcome Nick to the Board. Nick’s wide-ranging experience in such situations should prove invaluable as we further develop our strategy for growing the Company”

Paul Herbert becomes CRO of Aero Inventory plc

Paul Herbert becomes CRO of Aero Inventory plc

Paul Herbert was appointed Chief Restructuring Officer at Aero Inventory UK Ltd in November 2010.

AIM listed Aero Inventory had gone into administration in a high profile failure in November 2009 with £300m of multi-bank debt but a balance sheet including over £350m of aircraft parts. Over the past year KPMG have been working to resolve numerous retention issues and to create a mechanism to secure over 50 million parts from 30 international locations. Paul’s objective is return the business to the aerospace market and realise the value in the stock whilst creating an attractive business for sale.

Commenting on the project, Paul Herbert said “This is a complex assignment to help the administrators maximise realisations from a potentially very valuable asset and to work to restructure the business ready for new ownership”

Paul Herbert completes CRO appointment at SLP Engineering

Paul Herbert completes CRO appointment at SLP Engineering

SLP is a supplier of engineering and construction projects to the offshore oil and gas industry and other related markets. It employs 1,400 people at its sites in Lowestoft, Tyneside, Blackpool and New Malden and has a turnover of £150m. A significant contractual dispute and claims from a customer on one of its previous major construction projects led to the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators in November 2009.

Paul Herbert was appointed CRO to manage the completion of several part completed projects, including a complex 180 bedroom offshore accommodation platform funded by a major oil company. The clients funded continued work on the contracts through to completion in summer 2010 securing work for employees and subcontractors. The projects were completed on time and SLP’s facility was sold to Smulders Group preserving this important employer in East Anglia.

Commenting on the project, Paul Herbert said “This was a tough project to get a major engineering project completed in line with the client’s urgent operational requirements. At the same time, I was able to help the administrators to achieve an orderly realisation of the business which is in the interests of all its stakeholders”

CRO appointment

CRO appointment

Nick Winks was appointed CRO of a PE-backed national central heating maintenance group. After an analysis of the prospects for the business and presentation of a fresh business plan, the stakeholders have agreed to a consensual restructure involving the write down of all senior debt. This restructure completed in October 2010 leaving the Group in a good position to compete to win public sector contracts.

CRO appointment

WayPoint Change has been hired by a national private equity firm to work with the management team of a 2005 service sector buyout which has been significantly loss making in its last 2 financial years and was under significant banking pressure as a result. An operational turnaround has included overhead savings, disposal of a non-core activity and a change in operational model. A return to strong profitability and financial controls over working capital levels have enabled a significant debt reduction.