Case Studies

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The following case studies are snapshots of how our expertise can be applied to companies like you.

 
 

RTL Materials

The RTL case-study is a classic example of bringing real industrial experience to help grasp and turn around a situation where an undoubtedly brilliant initial R&D-focused team failed to achieve early market success due to underestimation of what, however genuinely ground-breaking a product may be, a reliable manufacturer has to look like.

Lumi Technologies

Lumi is an excellent example of the value of a high growth, web-based communications technology needing to constantly think ahead to the next stage of funding and ensure early steps are taken to make it investable line this up. Lumi is now emerging as a world leader in both large scale real-time audience engagement and in high-capacity, often instant market research and polling.

 

International Resource Exploration Company

Expansion through acquisition is one thing – having the internal structures and resources to manage stakeholders and comply to the complex International Financial Reporting Standards is another. This US oil and gas exploration group needed support that would increase stability in the group’s forecasts, help them manage investor expectations and enhance processes to support future profitability.

Energis Communications

When over-expansion leads to a debt-for-equity swap, then turn-around is critical. Energis, once the UK’s 3rd largest B2B communications company, needed expertise to turn pounds to profit, quickly. Through the right support, revenue doubled in the first year, sales exceeded £500m, and new routes to market were established, eventually taking this organisation to successful acquisition.

 

Water Intelligence 

This UK clean-tech company was ready for growth, but needed help. Water Intelligence was looking to secure bridge funding and complete a reverse takeover with US company American Leak Detection Inc. Through the provision of CFO and Interim CEO services, this company’s long-term survival and growth were secured, leading to a fundraising of £400k and a successful takeover negotiation.  

Tarmac Topblock

After a 5-year decline in performance, Tarmac Toplock needed radical business transformation. Once serving as Europe’s largest aircrete factory, strategic review and implementation identified the need for new commercial, management and supply-chain strategies and an urgent turnaround in staff morale. All of which helped to fund a £25m investment programme and company turnaround across all 16 sites. 


RTL Materials


RTL is the owner of an advanced composite with unique characteristics and strong IP protection which has multiple industry sector applications. It is a rare case of an entirely original British mechanical invention. Despite a string of early product development successes in the early 2000’s, often in partnership with well-known multi-nationals , the company found it difficult to progress from an R&D/development stage, where it contained undoubted world-class skills,  into one where it was listening to end-users better,  and producing well-defined product reliably and to specification.

Partner Capital worked with RTL and its founder to bring in more experienced operational and financial management , a highly-experienced chairman and, off the back of much more professional approach to corporate reporting and sales and manufacturing processes, more substantial debt and equity financing. This insisted on a clear focus on one sector (defence) with proven early demand for an RTL suite of genuinely substitutional product far superior to existing ones  and achieving critical mass in that before exploiting the IP in other, undeniably promising and high-value areas. The strategy has worked with multiple major militaries around the world buying into the RTL offering.

The company is now poised for rapid growth in its defence/communications are and is laying the foundations for new applications of the IP in energy and industrial inspection.


Lumi Technologies


Lumi is now an emerging world leader in both large scale real-time audience engagement and in high-capacity, often instant market research and polling; both are delivered across multiple types of PDA devices, ‘phones and computers.

The company worked with Partner Capital through a number of critical stages.

First, to raise enough funds to ensure it could really focus in its early stages without having to constantly come back to the funding trough. We and our network of senior UK business leader-investors provided the funds and placed one of us on the board.

Second, following early positive traction and a realisation that  strategic partner involvement would be beneficial (to accelerate channels to users) we assisted in engaging with one of the World’s leading customer research companies (WPP) who acquired a minority stake. This required planning this approach a year in advance and preparing mentally for what would likely be a long negotiation but for a valuable prize.

Third, as traction began to build the company and we realised that it needed more substantial sources of private financing. We were therefore instrumental in approaching representatives of a billionaire with an outstanding track record in investing in the digital environment. This was successfully concluded and has provided a hugely stable and supportive base for further development. The company continues to grow.


International Resource Exploration Company


This US oil and gas exploration group was newly quoted on ISDX Market and had recently expanded through acquisition from a mid-size oil & gas operator. UK-based with operations in the US and Africa, the group lacked the internal structures and resources to prepare annual accounts in accordance with the complex requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). We delivered a complete set of IFRS compliant accounts, featuring a concise explanation of key issues, ready for board approval. 

Our recommendation to file UK accounts in USD meant that exchange rate fluctuations had less impact on the group’s subsequent results. The subsequent increased stability in the group’s forecasts enabled the board to better manage investor expectations.

The group’s internal structure was amended in line with recommendations, which resulted in correction of a key issue that would otherwise have impacted negatively on future reporting.

Our recommended approach for tax planning is currently being followed through by the board. Its implementation will maximise efficiency with regards to regional tax regimes, and will optimise the company’s future profitability.

We continue to provide comprehensive support to ensure that all of our technical recommendations are implemented effectively by the company, and that best practice is adhered to. We have been contracted by the company to perform financial consulting and the role of company secretary on an ongoing basis.

Please note that this case study demonstrates the track record of the co-founders and directors of CFPro Ventures and was not performed under the CFPro Ventures trading entity.


Energis Communications Limited


In 2003 Energis, a technology-driven communications company, was the UK’s third largest business-to-business communications company with a turnover of £750 million. Over-expansion lead to a debt-for-equity swap by the eight main banks; Archie Norman and Jon Pluthero were appointed to lead a turn-around. They appointed five directors to grow profitable sectors and generate a valuable order book in preparation for a trade sale / merger – Hardy Giesler’s remit was the Infrastructure Sector, covering Utilities and Communications.

Under his leadership the team increased the revenue run rate from £42m to £85m in the first year, whilst retaining strong margin. He also delivered more than £500 million of new orders, including the outsourcing of BBC Technology – at £350m this was the company’s largest win ever. By successfully changing the engagement model with Systems Integrators (SI), an important new route to market was established. Other blue-chip clients added included National Grid Transco (NGT) and RWE.

The business was acquired by Cable & Wireless, which in turn was acquired by Vodafone.

Please note that this case study demonstrates the track record of the co-founders and directors of CFPro Ventures and was not performed under the CFPro Ventures trading entity.


Qonnectis PLC (AIM listed), now called
Water Intelligence


Qonnectis provides a managed service to water and energy utilities through a variety of traditional and wireless automated meter reading products. Developed in partnership with Thames, and rolled as part of the Victorian Mains Renewal programme, their main product Leakfrog allows water companies to monitor their domestic customers’ homes for water leaks.

Barbara Spurrier was appointed as CEO / CFO of AIM listed Qonnectis PLC to secure bridge funding and complete a reverse takeover with US company, American Leak Detection Inc (ALD).

Barbara Spurrier was appointed as Qonnectis’ CFO and subsequently Interim CEO, with the challenge of ensuring the UK cleantech company’s long term survival and growth. Proactive pursuit of funding for Qonnectis resulted in a merger opportunity in the form of interest from ALD, a large US based company who were impressed by the transition that had been effected on Qonnectis’s financial and business strategy. Qonnectis announced that negotiations between themselves and ALD had resulted in fundraising of £400k and the appointment of Patrick DeSouza (Chairman of ALD) and Stanford Berenbaum (Chief Executive Officer of ALD) as Non-Executive Directors in anticipation of a proposed reverse takeover by ALD.

Over the last 12 months, Barbara’s energy and commitment has had a huge impact on the financial and strategic future of Qonnectis. She has been instrumental in securing critical funds and in managing the process of securing a suitable partner for leveraging our innovative smart metering and leak detection products in the global market. We are now working extremely hard to ensure that the proposed acquisition by American Leak Detection Inc. is completed, and we look forward to working with Patrick DeSouza and Stanford Berenbaum to build the business of the enlarged group.
— Chairman, Qonnectis

Please note that this case study demonstrates the track record of the co-founders and directors of CFPro Ventures and was not performed under the CFPro Ventures trading entity.


 Tarmac Topblock, part of
Tarmac Building Products


Tarmac Topblock is a national provider of concrete blocks and aircrete blocks for the building industry.

The business manufactures and distributes concrete and aircrete blocks from 16 sites across the UK. It also offers technical advice to architects, designers and builders, particularly in relation to its revolutionary Durox System building method, offering enhanced thermal and acoustic properties. One of its aircrete factories, based in Essex, is the largest in Europe. It had a turnover of £120m and employed 700 people.

Tarmac Topblock was a business in distress. Although it was the market leader in terms of market share, it had suffered a five-year decline in performance that resulted in a forecast of £4 million loss in 2005.

Hardy Giesler was appointed as MD to deliver a performance transformation. A strategic review identified the need for a revised commercial strategy (which delivered real price increases for the first time in eight years), increase in management capability, unit cost reduction in manufacturing and a change in transport sourcing strategy.

A site consolidation programme reduced capacity, increased utilisation levels and achieved targeted unit cost reductions. This helped to fund a £25m investment programme to address product quality issues and client services requirements. Hardy Giesler also established the Manufacturing Excellence programme, improving production management capability and knowledge sharing across all 16 sites.

One of the biggest challenges was addressing poor morale on the biggest site (and the largest of its type in Europe) – this was the result of poor post-acquisition integration. Representing 30% of the company’s turnover, this was the source of a substantial proportion of losses and many customer complaints. Personal commitments and an investment programme convinced the workforce of the MD's intentions – their buy-in resulted in a turn-around being achieved.

Hardy Giesler was also a Board member of the Tarmac Building Products group, a £500 million turnover organisation and 4,000 employees.  

Please note that this case study demonstrates the track record of the co-founders and directors of CFPro Ventures and was not performed under the CFPro Ventures trading entity.