Eyjafjallajoekull’s excesses will not distract Britain’s top company doctors from the essential task of how best to turn around businesses. Although attendees have been unavoidably detained by volcanic disruption as far afield as Australia, Shanghai and St. Lucia the Institute for Turnaround (IFT) members are well used to getting burning platforms under control.
IFT member Andy Leeser will explain how, with help from Ed Macnamara of PwC, he reshaped Alexon’s property portfolio to generate £5.2m annualised cost savings. Mr Leeser identified 60 onerous leases out of 108 and these had, “very seriously adversely affected the company’s financial platform,” according to Alexon chief executive Jane McNally. Alexon brands include Ann Harvey, Dash, Eastex and Kaliko.
The usual answer for retailers with property problems has been to go through a CVA or Pre-pack and ‘pull out the bits of the business that were worth saving.’ Instead, the management of Alexon Group plc managed to restructure their store portfolio solvently and raise £20m of new equity. After a run of CVAs (JJB, Blacks, Focus DIY) and serviced offices provider Regus’s (150 offices UK and a global network of 1,000) announcement to its landlords that it required rent-free periods, future rent cuts and cash to carry out refurbishments on ‘unprofitable buildings,’property companies and shareholders are likely to show a great deal of interest in the Alexon approach.
IFT Turnaround Financier of the Year Endless, had a remarkable start to the year with the successful sales of three turnaround investments from their first fund, for a combined return of 20x money invested and an IRR of 450%, and the acquisition of a leading schoolwear supplier and distributor. Endless Partner and conference speaker Garry Wilson says, “Despite the prevailing economic uncertainty, the sales of DavyMarkham, Excelsyn and British Bookshops & Stationers prove that deals are back on the agenda and that outstanding returns to investors, banks and talented management teams are available even in this market.”
The conference will hear first-hand why, ‘We need to talk about Management’ (Ian Astley, Privet Capital); what is the ‘Outlook for the Automotive Industry’ (Sid Hopper and Stephen Cooney, BDO); why there is ‘No Magic Bullet’ (IFT Private Company Turnaround Award winner Bob Ellis); ‘How Turnaround Professionals can add value’ (Steve Hanlon, Barclays Business Support).
Conference: Thursday April 22nd, 14.00 – 19.00, Birmingham
Christine Elliott, Chief Executive, Institute for Turnaround – firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7324 6216; 07812 370121
Editor’s Note: What is the Institute for Turnaround® (IFT)?
The Institute for Turnaround is the leading professional body in Britain and Europe for operational, funding and advisory practitioners in business. IFT has groups in other parts of the world, including Asia. Its mission is to create and enhance stakeholder value .An IFT accredited Professional will:
IFT began life in 2000 as the Society of Turnaround Professionals (STP) following encouragement by UK Government, the major clearing banks and other financiers, private equity investors and leading accountancy firms. The Institute for Turnaround (IFT) comprises individuals and organisations dedicated to helping businesses realise their potential in the most difficult circumstances. The organisation demands the highest levels of knowledge and experience for member accreditation.