Case Studies

Bed & Bath

€12m – Furniture retail

Areas of operation:

BM&T Hellas partner Critical solutions led restructuring of operations and assisted in the development of a new strategy plan. The franchising system was terminated, in favour of company-owned stores. Worked on a merger with the parent company in restructuring bank loans. Introduced a budgeting system that measures deviations to clear KPIs and advises on appropriate action. Guidelines were created for the handling of stock. Sales were improved from €3.5 mil (before the five-year plan) to €12.2 mil. Negative EBITDA turned sustainably positive.

Aggelakis SA

€10m – Food production

Areas of operation:

BM&T Hellas cooperation partner Critical Solutions led the restructuring of Bank loans and identified a new financing partner (ABB). Evaluated the new market strategy and opening of new export markets. Assisted with plans for the expansion and modernisation of the factory and the infrastructure, alongside a new 3-year plan and budget in support of this strategy.

Successful restructuring of Bank loans completed and successful implementation of new Business Plan, with emphasis on exports. Sales increased by 16% in 2017 and 23% in 2018. Profit has increased by an average of 20% per year.

Ammos Hotel & Resort

€10m – Leisure

Areas of operation:

BM&T Hellas cooperation partner Critical Solutions led on the restructuring of the company, with the agreement of the main creditor (Eurobank). The debt was renegotiated down in order to be sustainable. Assisted on developing new markets and the implementation of new technological tools to attract customers. Carried out a full assessment of and recommendations on management practices.

Filed for article 106B protection. Liabilities were restructured including a successful haircut agreement. Leasing of operations was assigned to a specialist hotel management company.

Elcomex

€80m – Electrical engineering/Farming

Areas of operation:

Elcomex, a Romanian business with two major companies each with €40 million turnover had stretched its funding limits and ambitious expansion plans in one of the divisions had stalled bringing the whole group close to insolvency due to cross guarantees. The Funding requirement to reactivate the problem subsidiary was €8 million but local funding sources had lost confidence in the shareholder and senior management. BM&T identified a funder to take majority control of both businesses which would avoid insolvency and a total loss for the shareholder. BM&T identified additional collateral for the funder which would have raised a significant part of the funding requirement. BM&T guided the parties to a letter of intent (LOI) covering majority rights whilst protecting the minority shareholder and which would keep the group of five existing banks to continue support of the new majority owner. In pressing for completion and contrary to BM&T’s advice, the buyer and seller changed the LOI and majority control of one of the companies which forced the banks to withdraw support. Both businesses fell into insolvency, customers and value were lost. The group was broken up in insolvency and sold to opportunistic buyers.

WeedingTech

£1m – Environmental

Areas of operation:

BM&T initially provided a short-term and part-time Finance Director resource to complete a first business plan and financial forecasting model for this start-up business. This eventually ran on with support provided over four years covering four HNW funding rounds, totalling approx. £4million. BM&T also provided input on product and manufacturing strategy and provided an interim Managing Director as well as an interim part-time engineering consultant. The business has continued to grow successfully and recently completed its second round of Institutional funding.

TSL Group

£45m – Electronic audio equipment

Areas of operation:  

Disorganised and fragmented group of companies with some manufacturing, some services based and a software arm. Effectively being run as one company with centralised treasury, however liquidity pressures meant paying wages in 3 weeks was in doubt. Management unclear on causes or which parts of the group were profitable.  BM&T Principal took control of cash, including closer controls on various large-scale projects across the globe which were loss-making and draining cash. Restructured and simplified the group, enforced management change, modernised the services offering and the methodology for quoting and contracting, diversified customer base to new industries and drove process efficiencies including the roll-out of a new ERP/MRP system. Also acquired a new base for growth in the USA and integrated that business.

Liquidity crisis and group insolvency avoided. Businesses stabilised with loss-making parts wound-down in an orderly manner. Top line and margin improvements realised and product offering revamped to lead the market in new technology adaptation

Coriant

$1bn – Telecommunications

Areas of operation:      

A US private equity owned global manufacturer of telecommunications equipment was suffering intense competition and losing market share. Losses were mounting particularly in Germany which was a major design and manufacturing centre. Also, at risk was a loss-making Finnish manufacturing business. A Portuguese software business was profitable but potentially over manned. BM&T assisted our US partners in evaluating options to downsize and close operations in Germany, and Finland both in and out of insolvency and downsize in Portugal as part of a worldwide restructuring plan. The owner used the information to exit its investment by selling its interest to a third party. 

Fabco

€10m – Automotive component manufacture

Areas of operation:  

A US vehicle component manufacturing company disposing its assets and business to Arvin Meritor had an Austrian business; a holding company and an operating subsidiary which was part of the sale transaction. The Austrian CEO was partly conflicted as a minority shareholder in the Austrian operating subsidiary and would continue as Austrian CEO with the buyer. The sale price was dependent on achieving an aggressive last month’s revenue and on a working capital adjustment. BM&T worked with the seller to monitor and advise the CEO on the final month’s production and working capital in order to achieve the required sales price. Subsequent to the sale BM&T worked with local counsel to wind down the two Austrian subsidiaries including managing tax issues and, cash transfers and final liquidation.  

Accuride

€350m – Automotive component manufacture

Areas of operation:            

A substantial US private equity owned manufacturer of wheels for on highway and off highway vehicles was expending into Europe, firstly with an acquisition of an Italian company and secondly a larger acquisition of a €350 million revenue German manufacturer with 3 plants in Germany, 2 in Russia, 1 each in China, France and Turkey.  

BM&T with its ERS associates assisted in the Italian purchase advising on employment issues on pay levels, Union negotiations and redundancies. Subsequently BM&T advised on pre-acquisition evaluation of accounting systems and reporting integration subsequent to completion across all the plants and post-acquisition worked on product cost and margin studies and potential plant rationalisation programmes. 

Cloyes Gear & Product

€10m – Automotive component manufacture

Areas of operation:

BM&T was appointed CRO of the 85% owned German subsidiary of a US manufacturer of gears in workout and in negotiations with a potential Private Equity investor.  The subsidiary was 15% owned by Sumitomo. The German company, a Tier 2 supplier to Hungarian based Denso and itself located in the East of Germany had been equipped with Saxony Government publicly funded new machinery for pressing and finishing gears from powdered metal. The loans were partially guaranteed by the parent company. The company was experiencing serious quality problems and high levels of returns leading to losses and intense customer dissatisfaction. The potential Private Equity buyer did not want to purchase the German company and proposed a German insolvency, but this would have created contractual issues with Sumitomo and claims against the loans from the Saxony Government. 

BM&T resolved the customer issues by introducing a technical expert to reduce defects to acceptable levels, restored customer confidence and brought the company to profitability thus allowing the sale of the US parent to proceed.  The new owner subsequently sold its 85% holding in the German company to Sumitomo.

RPC Group

£2bn – Rigid plastic containers

Areas of operation:      

BM&T undertook a review of over 40 locations of Promens, a pan European plastic container manufacturer with Head Office in Iceland being acquired by £2 billion turnover RPC, a UK FTSE 250 company with 50 locations mainly across Europe. Recommended the integration of management and locations, closed Icelandic and Norwegian offices and assisted in relocation of production and plant closures in Germany, Slovakia, and France. Eventual annualised Ebitda savings in excess of £50 million were reported by the Group.

BioTek

$50m – Laboratory test equipment

Areas of operation:          

A US company having acquired a European group with an Italian factory and distribution subsidiaries in France, Germany, UK and Switzerland from a distressed European vendor breached bank covenants within six months of the acquisition when the vendor progressively filed for bankruptcy in all its European locations causing collateral damage to the acquired group. BM&T Principals took over the operational and financial management of the acquired group and restored the company to profitable operations whilst working with legal advisors to manage the complex legal issues arising from the vendor bankruptcy in Italy, France and Germany.

Clark Material Handlings

€250m – Forklift trucks

Areas of operation:      

The German subsidiary of a large US company in Chapter 11 had experienced significant operational problems caused by vendor disruption resulting from the parent company filing. The German company had recorded a negative EBITDA of $3.1 million in a quarter and was close to insolvency.BM&T Principals worked as both CRO and Treasury managers alongside the company management to improve production flow, reduce inventories and improve cash flow and vendor confidence. The company was restored to a positive quarter EBITDA of $1.1million. Subsidiaries in Spain and France were downsized and disposed of to generate cash. German operating costs were substantially reduced. BM&T Principals worked with the company’s legal advisors to manage the company through German potential over-indebtedness issues. Actions to stabilise and maintain continuity of the European operations were a vital contribution to the eventual sale of the USA business.

Tally Genicom

$140m – Printer manufacturing/distribution

Areas of operation:          

BM&T Principals were engaged to identify and implement a series of cost reductions and efficiency improvements for a Global printer manufacturer and distributor. The initiatives (including relocating production, centralising warehousing and support services, vendor assessment and headcount reduction) were implemented during the two stage assignment and impacted operations in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain and Austria.The result was an improvement in European EBITDA of $14m on revenues of $140m.

Pelikan Hardcopy

$250m – Printer inks and supplies

Areas of operation:        

BM&T Principals were engaged to identify and implement a series of cost reductions and efficiency improvements for a Global printer manufacturer and distributor. The initiatives (including relocating production, centralising warehousing and support services, vendor assessment and headcount reduction) were implemented during the two stage assignment and impacted operations in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain and Austria.The result was an improvement in European EBITDA of $14m on revenues of $140m.

Cambridge Lee

$20m – Stockholding

Areas of operation:      

A US group in Chapter 11 wished to exit its European operations, in the UK, France and Netherlands, and repatriate cash to the USA. BM&T advised on the optimum processes in each country and managed the orderly liquidation of assets in UK and Netherlands to generate cash for repatriation. BM&T also managed the sale process of the French company in a management buy-out, thus avoiding the very high French “Social Plan” lay-off costs in a closure that would have triggered European intercompany guarantees and reduced the funds available for repatriation from Europe.

La Seda de Barcelona

€1.4bn – Chemicals and plastics manufacturing

Areas of operation:              

La Seda de Barcelona, a €1.4 billion revenue Spanish listed company with pan European operations was in breach of covenant on a €600 million 54 institution syndicated loan. It had €200 million of overdue trade creditors and €200 of bilateral loans. It had just reported a €565 million loss and experienced the resignation of the CEO. In conjunction with our Spanish cooperation partner, Carlos Gila of Gila & Co, BM&T were appointed restructuring advisors with focus on group cash management and managing the avoidance of bankruptcy filings of non-Spanish subsidiaries.

BM&T instituted and managed tight and regular cash flow reporting routines thus avoiding hitting unnecessary insolvency triggers in any of the nine European jurisdictions. BM&T managed scarce cash resources over a twelve month period whilst a €350 million debt to equity and PIK note swop and €150 million new capital introduction was negotiated and implemented. BM&T also assisted in negotiating deferred payment terms of overdue trade creditors and extension of bilateral loans which were conditions precedent to the capital restructuring. The final resolution involved minimising the potential impact of an English filing of a major UK subsidiary and the cram down of dissenting syndicate members to the restructuring by utilising an English Scheme of Arrangement, the first use of this process by a Spanish company.

The restructured company had its listing restored on the completion of the recapitalisation. For a full report on this complex case follow this link to a detailed magazine article.

Collins & Aikman

$4bn – Auto component manufacture

Areas of operation:  

A major global auto manufacturer engaged BM&T Principals to advise on its risks, options and exposure in the 26 European subsidiaries based in nine countries of a $4 billion USA auto parts supplier in Chapter 11. BM&T Principals assisted in managing OEM cash flow support whilst the insolvency jurisdictional filing options were being assessed by the supplier’s management. Following the filing under a UK COMI, BM&T Principals advised a leading Private Equity buyer in due diligence to determine the viability of each entity and to establish the optimum group of entities which were subsequently acquired from the administration process.

Dura Automotive

$2.4bn – Auto component manufacture

Areas of operation:  

BM&T Principals were engaged to advise on the operational viability and insolvency exposure of a complex group of Western and Eastern European trading and non trading subsidiaries of a $2.4 billion US Auto parts supplier being positioned for a Chapter 11 filing. The European Group with over €1 billion in revenues was managed from a German HQ. BM&T Principals advised on German Directors’ liability issues, UK COMI and other European insolvency issues and took over the monitoring of European group cash flow management. BM&T Principals positioned the European Group to the point that it was able to avoid an insolvency event in any European jurisdiction upon the parent company’s Chapter 11 filing. By avoiding a European filing the European Group was able to remain outside formal process, to continue to trade positively and attract new OEM business whilst the parent company eventually exited from the USA bankruptcy process.

Carom

€80m – Chemicals

Areas of operation:

Acted as financial manager and advisor to a Romanian synthetic rubber, chemicals (MTBE, LPG and Butadiene) and chemical storage plant in Romania in a restart of production leading to a period of profitability before its owners and funders withdrew support due to pressure from their Austrian bank lender group, itself in financial difficulty. Subsequently prepared a sale memorandum for the insolvency administrator and introduced potential international buyers from Asia and Europe to engage in negotiations with the Administrator which are ongoing. 

Campbell Hooper

£15m – Legal services

Areas of operation:

A BM&T Principal led the restructuring of a mid-sized, London-based professional services firm with £15m turnover which had experienced a downturn in revenue as a result of market conditions, cost competition and a failure to adapt their operating model resulting in losses. The cost base was reduced by 19%. Losses were stabilised and the business returned to a profit for first time in two years

The restructured business was successfully sold to, and integrated into, to a larger firm.

Kentavros SA

€10m – Wines and spirits distribution

Areas of operation:

BM&T Hellas led restructuring of bank loans and reorganization of the two companies engaged in distribution of Spirits, wine, beer and beverages. Two Critical Solution employees took charge of the operations and run the restructuring strategy to merge the two companies. Developed a new strategy and operational Business Plan, with emphasis on cooperation with vendors and new customers. Carried out a full assessment of and recommendations on management practices.

Both companies have returned to profitability. A new management team was identified and put in place. The merged entity became operational on July 1st 2019.

Packaging business

£200m – Printing and packaging

Areas of operation:

BM&T were engaged following an introduction by the company’s US Private Equity owner. The business operated in three European countries and was being split into separate entities ahead of a partial sale. There was concern that liquidity may come under pressure during the sale process and BM&T was asked to help ensure this did not happen. BM&T took on responsibility to speed up invoicing of certain customers and for collection of overdue receivables. In conjunction with this, a new 13-week cash flow forecast was introduced with BM&T consolidating forecasts from 13 different locations. When an invoice financier pulled out of the one of the countries of operation, BM&T were able to introduce a replacement. The company maintained adequate liquidity and a sale was eventually concluded.

Small London based property developer

£2m – Property development

Areas of operations:

A small local property developer in London had to stop work on a prime residential development during the financial crisis as its bank withdrew funding. BM&T worked with the developer who had identified a new funding partner to negotiate down the outstanding debt and release personal guarantees to enable the business to successfully complete the development, survive and thrive. 

Juxta Base/Instant Karma

£0.5m – Property development and leisure

Areas of operation:

Juxta Base was a development company with a 999-year lease on a property in London used as a gastro and music bar by Instant Karma, a connected company with a sublease on a peppercorn rent. The lease was security to a bank that had provided funds for the lease purchase as part of a complex transaction with a non-connected party to develop 9 high value residencies partly on the bar’s carpark. That non-connected party went into receivership and the receiver at the instruction of its secured lender built out the residencies but without the high-level noise insulation required by the music bar in the planning approval and regulations. The noise level would have forced an injunction on the music bar which would have made it unviable without significant extra investment. In the impasse and delays Juxta Base’s bank appointed a receiver to sell the lease to recover its loan, which threatened the survival of Instant Karma as a gastro pub and music bar. BM&T were at this point appointed advisers to Juxta base and Instant Karma to help prevent the insolvency of Instant Karma and save the business for its client. 

Both receivers were hostile to Juxta Base and Instant Karma and were cooperating in challenging the peppercorn rent and the acceptable level of noise to force the closure of the bar to enable the 9 properties to be sold. BM&T had professional sound testing to prove the excessive noise level and defended the validity of the Instant Karma peppercorn lease thus forcing these parties to compromise. The 999-year lease and the residencies were sold to property management company who paid sufficient funds to Instant Karma to renegotiate the lease in return for capital to invest in the gastro pub. As part of the deal the other receiver contributed to reworking the noise insulation to a satisfactory level allowing the residencies to be sold at a level that fully repaid their funder. Whilst the owner of Juxta Base lost the ownership of the 999-year lease he exited with a refurbished and profitable gastro pub and music bar. BM&T also helped him secure a substantial claim from the insurers of his lawyers. whose negligence had been a contributory factor in the building regulations and planning issues.   

BM&T’s stakeholder management skills were central to bringing warring parties to accept a reasonable compromise to free the properties for sale at a level that repaid most of the loans and saved the Instant Karma business.

Gorlitz Fleece

$20m – Textiles

Areas of operation:

A US Financial institution sought assistance in evaluating an export factoring line for a US company in Chapter 11 based on sales of product manufactured in a German subsidiary. BM&T evaluated the structure of the European group, the viability of the German operation, and together with legal counsel, the risk of statutory insolvency in the German company. Based on this assessment the USA institution was able to make an informed assessment of risk associated with the transaction and declined to participate. Soon after, the subsidiary was forced to file for insolvency.

JAC Products

€30m – Automotive component manufacture

Areas of operation:

A private equity owned US Company was informed by the directors of its German subsidiary that they had been advised to file for German insolvency to protect their personal interests. The European operations, Germany and its Portuguese subsidiary, were forecast by local management to lose money whilst the local bank had given six months’ notice of closure of the agreed credit lines. BM&T reviewed the operations, the forecasts and merger or sale alternatives and appraised alternative courses of action. BM&T also assisted local management to improve receivable collections and working capital management, reappraise the business plan and forecasts on a more realistic basis, and generate sufficient cash flow to avoid the need for bank credit. The business was turned around and a bankruptcy filing, or distressed sale averted.

Modular Inkjet Technology

$20m – Piezoceramic Inkjet Systems

Areas of operation:

A Swedish company, part of a US group in work out, had used $20 million to bring a high tech product to market. The parent company was unable to support the continuing cash burn and insolvency was threatened. BM&T Principals redirected technical resource from long-term development to resolve short-term operational issues, turning the company cash positive to avoid a bankruptcy filing, and then worked with the parent company to successfully divest the subsidiary to a UK trade buyer.

Private equity-owned firm

€175m – Technical business services

Areas of operation:

A private equity-owned company with operations in the UK, Holland and Sweden had an opportunity to refinance €215 million of senior debt and PIK notes. The debt markets were tightening rapidly and time was of the essence. BM&T Principals worked with management to quickly organise a data room for the reporting accountants and handled all day to day enquires throughout due diligence. Late in this accelerated process the company’s lawyers advised that a Financial Assistance Whitewash was required. The reporting accountants estimated it would take three weeks minimum. BM&T Principals gathered all the necessary data, created a fully integrated financial model and the reporting accountants were able to sign off in five days.

Media services business

£1.5m

Areas of operation:

This transatlantic B2B services company had a UK subsidiary facing insolvency with 1.5 times annual revenue in creditors and costs exceeding income. Engaged by the owners, BM&T worked with local management to put in place a ground breaking Creditors Consensual Composition covering over 30 creditors to avert insolvency. This avoided the loss of critical clients and new business and ensured a potential 100% recovery for the creditors and the survival of the business.BM&T installed budgets, cost controls and selective invoice discounting to return the business to positive cash-flow in 2 months with profitability achieved in 4 months. A major new business contract was won, worth £20m over three years, which would have never been awarded if the company had entered any formal insolvency process. In addition, BM&T worked with the owners to install a corporate strategy for expansion and refinance $1m of debt into a private placement.

Interfas

€20m – Food labelling

Areas of operations:

A French company, a subsidiary of a distressed US business, was in a spiral of decline because of lack of effective communication with the parent company. BM&T Principals assessed the viability of the operation and worked with local management to create an alternative strategy based on investment and top line growth. Local funding was obtained for both working capital and capital investment in a new state of the art printing line in a growth sector; food labelling. The new printing line generated increased sales revenues and margins. The subsidiary was turned around and from local funding able to repatriate much needed funds to the parent through loan repayment. BM&T prepared a sale memorandum which was used in the eventual disposal of the company.