Even fundamentally sound businesses run into difficulties. Cash flow can come under pressure from the loss of a big client, or a dip in performance can threaten a breach of banking covenants if there is insufficient headroom.

In these circumstances, investors, both debt and equity, may look to exit or refinance the business to address the problem. However, marketing a stressed or distressed business openly for sale can frequently impair enterprise value. As concerns over viability increase, concern grows amongst customers and employees, while lenders and suppliers can withdraw credit lines.

How Grant Thornton can help

In circumstances of business fragility, an Accelerated M&A process can be a vital tool to realise value for shareholders or creditors without damaging an underlying business. Typically, it is banks and private equity, as investors in the business, who engage with us to find a solution that avoids an administration process.

Sensitivity and speed are crucial parts of our approach.

We are always sensitive, not only to the potential value destruction that can be caused by signs of distress, but also to the fact that the business’s management may initially be unwilling to consider the idea of an accelerated process. Our experienced team of advisors has a strong track record, both in acting discreetly and in forging relationships in difficult circumstances, while at the same time delivering the best value for shareholders and creditors. We have the depth of resources to manage the various stakeholders in an accelerated process in a controlled and confidential manner.

Speed is of the essence. A quick turnaround is needed so that critical information is provided to potential suitors as swiftly as possible to enable them to make a decision. A fast-track process also minimises the risk that the business’s problems become public knowledge, undermining value preservation.

Our advisors work closely with our Recovery and Reorganisation team, to ensure that all aspects of financial and operational restructuring are taken into consideration in arriving at the optimal solution. We offer access to a network of specialist entities seeking to buy businesses through accelerated processes. The strength of this network allows us to identify serious bidders within hours, rather than days.

Partner, Corporate Finance Andy Morgan

+44 (0)20 7865 2626

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