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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… 

WayPoint supports recent Dunedin investments in Premier Hytemp and Trustmarque

WayPoint partner Andy Pearson has worked on two recently completed investments by Dunedin LLP (“Dunedin”), the UK mid-market private equity house

Premier Hytemp

In December 2012 Dunedin backed the management buyout of Premier Hytemp, a global leader in the manufacture and supply chain management of quality engineered alloy components for the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry. Premier Hytemp was acquired from Murray International Holdings Ltd in a £34.5 million transaction.

Premier Hytemp turns over in excess of £42 million and supplies complex, high integrity machined parts on short lead times to the offshore and onshore oil and gas sector globally.  The company has over 200 employees worldwide and has a very strong heritage of engineering excellence, working with nickel and low alloy steel used in critical components required for drilling and production purposes. It also operates Singapore’s largest steel heat treatment facility, which is currently being expanded.


In June 2013 Dunedin backed the £43 million management buyout of York headquartered Trustmarque Solutions (“Trustmarque”), a market leading provider of technology services and solutions to private and public sector organisations across the UK. The business was acquired from LDC in a deal that saw Dunedin employ its trademark DebtBridgeTM solution, which ensures deliverability and certainty of debt funding.

Trustmarque has been in operation for over 25 years and manages customers’ computer software and licensing from a wide range of developers including Microsoft, VMware, and McAfee. Its professional and consultative services enable organisations to optimise their IT resource, improve efficiencies and reduce costs. The business recorded revenues of over £130 million for the year ended 31 August 2012. Dunedin’s investment will enable Trustmarque to expand its service offering and correspondingly, its customer base.

The business employs 180 people at three sites in York (HQ), Bracknell and Edinburgh. It currently serves over 1,200 clients including RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Sainsbury’s, the NHS, Ministry of Defence and a broad spectrum of local authorities and central government agencies. Trustmarque is the leading supplier of software and consulting services to the UK Government and was the first reseller of Microsoft’s products to achieve Gold licensing status, a title that is reserved for their most trusted and successful partners.

WayPoint worked alongside other elements of Dunedin’s due diligence process to review the financial operations of each business. WayPoint has worked for Dunedin on a number of completed transactions and a range of other projects for portfolio companies in the last two years

Dunedin partner Dougal Bennett commented “Dunedin has worked very successfully with WayPoint, and Andy in particular, on a number of assignments.  These have been both pre- and post-investment and Andy always provides useful insights into the companies or issues we are interested in. He focusses upon what is important from a risk or value creation point of view and his work is always concise and good value for money. He is a seasoned and experienced operator.”

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.

Cash Management role for Claire Burden

WayPoint Change Associate Claire Burden has been appointed Interim Cash Manager by a multinational telecommunications group. Following her appointment, Claire introduced 13 week rolling cash flow forecasting processes to improve working capital management and reporting across 8 banks and 9 currencies worldwide.

Claire prepares a weekly consolidated cash flow forecast to aid centralised control and decision making. This has helped enable a bank debt reduction of 46% over four months – from $4.8m (total facilities $5m) in April 2012 to $2.6m (total facilities $3.3m) by August 2012 – and generated much needed headroom. The forecast and supporting analysis of key issues and risks is provided to the main bank every two weeks and has helped create a more open and forward looking banking relationship.

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.