Independent Business Review (IBR) of a group undergoing an LBO

Sector of activity: Clothing and footwear retail (B to C)
Size (sales in €bn): 3.0

Context

  • Group of twenty or so stores present in the clothing and footwear sector and operating outlets located in city centers and close suburbs, struggling to meet its financial commitments (non-compliance with quarterly covenants and running the risk of missing deadlines for repayment of the principal in the short/medium term).
  • More than a hundred lenders, mostly international
  • Group under ad hoc mandate then conciliation

Our mission

Our mission was structured in three phases over a period of about 4 months in order to provide information to lenders as and when it became available.

First phase:

  • Presentation of the Group
  • Analysis of the Group’s historical performance in FY11-FY13 (P&L and cash flow)
  • Specific analyses of certain key stores
  • Preliminary analysis of the Group’s cash position in FY14

Second phase:

  • Analysis of the Group’s other key stores
  • Analysis of the Group’s balance sheet
  • Quality of the financial information
  • Presentation of our findings for Phase 1 and 2 to the lenders’ representatives and Q&A

Third phase:

  • Analysis of recent earnings (current trading) and FY14 reforecast
  • Analysis of business plan, risks and hazards and associated cash flow, focus on key stores
  • Analysis of the Group’s monthly cash position and sensitivity analysis
  • Presentation of our key findings to all lenders and Q&A session.

Results

  • An intervention which made it possible to provide all lenders with the information necessary to their analysis of the Group’s financial position. Negotiations ended in the summer of 2014 with the agreement of all of the Group’s lenders concerning the restructuring protocol.

Key success factors

  • Ability to mobilize a large experienced team (about fifteen employees) combining skills in both Transactions and Restructuring
  • Daily involvement of a team of four experienced partners
  • Constructive interactions with the advisors working on the case – merchant bank, lawyers, strategy consultants
  • Regular exchanges with lenders to ensure that our work best meets their needs – exchange on the scope, presentation of our findings at each milestone, Q&A
  • Extensive sector-specific knowledge