ReGroup Solutions would like to congratulate Ian Haggerty of Benchmark for his recent success in achieving an amazing outcome for his client

ReGroup Solutions , 12 Aug 2020

Ian’s client was a director who had been in business for 51 years as cladding contractor. The Company had up to 100 employees working from owned factory premises and on-site at large commercial building sites nationally. The Director had been thinking of succession and made contact with Ian to investigate the sales potential of his long-standing and reputable business. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis struck and the Company’s supply chain was severely impacted. The Director sought the advice of a registered liquidator, who recommended external administration. The Director’s hopes of achieving a positive sale quickly diminished and the position with the bank meant there was now a serious risk he would lose his family home. 

Operating nationally, Benchmark has a huge database of prospective buyers and Ian had already generated significant genuine interest by drafting an impressive Information Memorandum and selectively negotiating with several key interested parties. Ian was concerned over the liquidator’s advice to his Client. The Director was being pressured into placing the company into voluntary administration (which Ian could see was premature and too drastic). Ian had identified his Client’s potential and felt that any insolvency procedure would unnecessarily destroy the company’s goodwill and asset values. 

ReGroup Solutions would like to give a huge thanks to Ian for referring his client, the Director, to us for a second opinion. After conducting our preliminary analysis, ReGroup Solutions advised the Director on his capacity to utilise the ‘insolvency safe harbour’ under section 588GA. The new legislation, effective since September 2017, provides directors with protection from insolvent trading personal liability whilst they explore a range of restructuring and turnaround strategies. This enabled the Director to continue trading his business so that a ‘going concern’ sale could still be actively pursued by Ian. This meant Ian could still maximise the outcome for his Client by continuing his strategic negotiations. 

ReGroup Solutions provided initial crisis management advice and then proceeded to investigate the various restructuring and turnaround options with the Director. The insolvency Safe Harbour provided the director with breathing space and enabled Ian Haggerty to continue his negotiating with key interested parties. The team at ReGroup Solutions worked closely with Ian Haggerty throughout the entire process – despite being an extremely complex matter, made worst by the COVID crisis, we’re delighted to say that Ian successfully negotiated a tremendous outcome for his Client!  

Ian lead the way in agreeing a sale of his Client’s business, assets and the large factory premises. This not only meant the majority of workforce kept their jobs but the indebtedness to the bank could also be fully satisfied. The Director’s home was no longer at risk and Ian’s Client stands to walk away with potential surplus of $1.5m. The deal stands to return 100c in the dollar to trade creditors. Ian even secured his client a two year consultancy position with the purchaser - and at an exceptional rate! Ian’s Client can now take a well-deserved step back, with his impeccable reputation intact.  

On a personal level, it was an absolute pleasure collaborating with a skilled negotiator such as Ian. The very purpose of the insolvency Safe Harbour is to help the director find a ‘better outcome’ for all stakeholders by utilising a skilled team of professionals. In this particular case, Ian was able to get an outstanding outcome for his Client on multiple levels. This was despite the extremely difficult and volatile market conditions. 

Congratulations to Ian Haggerty on what has ended up being a landmark Safe Harbour win for his Client!