Leadership in business and finance
  • Taking a business from public to private ownership

"An experience of a lifetime and better than any fairground roller coaster you'll ever go on! Plan for the unexpected and never be surprised when you are truly surprised."

Within a twelve months period Andrew co-led the exit of a large multi-site retail leisure business from public to private ownership. From identification of the the 1,000 units to be sold, developing the financial rationale and Information Memorandum to marketing the opportunity to The City, this was a most remarkable and enjoyable period of his working life"

Result - sold business with £60m EBITDA to a private equity purchaser for £625m

  • Refinancing a FTSE 250 business

"A technical assignment and immensely enjoyable. The project unlocked the financial constraints of this FTSE 250 business and earned the acolade 'Deal of the Year 2005'."

This FTSE 250 business had a restrictive traditional debenture financing structure that limited its balance sheet capacity to expand and grow. Andrew led a re-negotiation and redemption of these restrictive debentures with the Association of British Insurers and replaced them with a modestly leveraged asset backed securitisation and bank facility."

Result - a limiting financial structure dismantled and replaced with a flexible £805m securitisation and £250m bank facility permitting further acquisition capacity and growth

  • Securitising a 4,000 unit retail leisure business

"A fascinating experience combining the needs of the business for low cost finance and operational flexibility with the complex and often bewildering world of asset backed securitisation."

A six month project to tap an existing securitisation with additional funds being generated from the addition of a significant business. Co-ordinating a large number of bankers, lawyers, accountants and stakeholders was hugely rewarding and interesting.

Result - an £855m asset backed securitisation successfully sold into debt markets at a favourable rate

  • Buying and selling businesses

"An adrenalin rush from start to finish but make sure you buy and sell for the right reasons and, more importantly, at the right price!"

Buying and selling businesses is exhilarating. But buy or sell at the wrong price and the returns on investment will haunt you forever. Andrew has successfully managed the purchase and sale of many businesses including:-

  1. Sale of 1,000 pubs from Bass PLC to Nomura's Principal Finance Group (£625m)
  2. Sale of 4,000 pubs to Cinven and Enterprise Inns PLC (£2.3bn)
  3. Purchase of Sovereign Inns (£19m)
  4. Sale of 279 pubs to aAim (£82m)

From due diligence to negotiation, buying and selling is an art not a science and practice makes perfect. Good advice is always essential.

Result - successfully bought and sold many businesses

  • Turnaround of an unloved business to unlock its full potential

"For turnaround read 'change management'. Creating and managing change to maximise potential is always difficult, but once achieved organisations can operate on a different level."

Andrew was fortunate to achieve turnaround 'nirvana' when, together with a number of trusted colleagues, he transformed the operational and financial performance of a 1,000 unit public to private company from 'unloved' to 'most loved'. A change of operating format and a change of 'hearts and minds' unlocked the true entrepreneurial spirit of the employees and transformed this business. By applying the motto "everything is possible" and believing this when doing business day-by-day it was amazing to witness the turnaround of this organisation.

Result - a business bought for £625m with £60m EBITDA was sold for £700m within 12 months with run-rate EBITDA improved to £70m

  • Main board directorships

"You never feel the responsibility until you're given real responsibility"

Andrew has been a main board director for a number of private businesses and understands the need to 'do the right thing' and lead by example with the highest standards of integrity.

Andrew has been Group Finance Director for two large private equity businesses in the leisure sector (£228m and £60m profit respectively), successfully developing and monitoring group strategy and performance.

Result - wide ranging experience of managing companies' affairs, always ensuring trust, integrity and a strong reputation is maintained at all times. Keeping to strong values ensures a business has the strongest platform to achieve its full potential.

  • Working in, and raising funds within private equity

"Raising funds in today's market has never been tougher but, by following simple principles, access to funding can still be available."

Andrew learnt through experience that private equity lends money to make excellent returns for its many and varied investors. Private equity can only realise these returns if it exits businesses in a timely fashion. So 'exit' is the name of the game. Knowing how and, more importantly in this market place, when to divest an investment is crucial.

From experience it is necessary to demonstrate certain traits when dealing with private equity funders:-

  1. Know your business inside out
  2. Have a clear and unambiguous business plan, backed up by reality not hope
  3. Understand the importance of cash flow and how to add value to your business
  4. Know your exit plan

Result - through experience Andrew has made successful relationships in private equity and has always adopted these four simple principles.

  • Obtaining clearance from the Pensions Regulator during a major refinancing affecting the ranking of the pension creditor

"Obtaining unison between sponsoring company, trustees and the regulator is a tricky process and one needing great skill, judgement and patience".

During a major refinancing new preferentially ranked debt was to appear above the pension creditor in an insolvency situation. Andrew managed the negotiations between the company, trustees, regulator and advisers to successfully implement a solution that met every parties' objectives.

Result - through careful negotiation and patience all parties to the refinancing achieved an acceptable solution to a business critical project.