Delighted to read the article linked below today.
Biotek was the only the second turnaround assignment I worked on in 1999-2001 with US turnaround boutique Glass & Associates. It is good to see its success now nearly 20 years on. What could have been a series of European bankruptcies dragging down the US parent became a success story.
A small US family owned private company manufacturing life-sciences instrumentation, it had taken a $20 million loan but overreached itself in buying the European assets of failing Swiss owned Kontron with operations in UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and a manufacturing and technology plant in Italy. From the outset it was mired in legacy problems emanating from the bankruptcies of the seller and was losing money fast.
Glass Europe was appointed as CRO on the recommendation of Chase Manhattan as part of a forbearance agreement. I took over as President of the European business and with John Mansell my partner as CFO we stabilised the cash burn, moved locations to better and lower cost plants, migrated computer systems and focused the business on new products and software support. We integrated the US product lines into the European sales teams and negotiated settlements with the Italian administrator of Kontron. We helped the parent reposition its business and management team including recommending the promotion of the younger son, Briar Alpert as group President to succeed his father. By 2001 we were able to exit with the business profitable and cash positive, the turnaround well entrenched and the new management team capable of continuing without us.
It was a great learning curve on the issues of pan European insolvency issues and the basis of the development of Glass Europe and subsequently BM&T European Restructuring Solutions in the merits of US style consensual turnaround and the evolution of European turnaround process as more beneficial in value preservation than insolvency.
Alan Tilley – Chairman, BM&T
18th July 2019