1. 7What exit strategy can we conceive for a property developer and who can realise it for us?

An Anglo-Saxon financial investor had acquired a large flat-owning company with a subsidiary property developer and a general contractor. The investor was, however, not strategically interested in these subsidiaries: confidence was lacking in the ability of the present management.

Our interim managers took over the running of the company in this situation and first of all analysed the firm’s existing projects, those in the pipeline and its resources. It was necessary to examine in particular three exit strategies against a backdrop of the specific, competitive market situation: an ad hoc sale of the companies, a sale after restructuring, or quiet liquidation through an optimised sale of the assets and socially acceptable redundancy for the 70 employees.

The investor opted for the winding up of the companies and entrusted us with its realisation as temporary managing directors. Our first concern was to apprise the employees of the new situation and conclude corresponding agreements with them and the works committee.

We had to ensure – on the operative level – that ongoing building work could be completed and sold off, plots of land and project firms sold, the financial structure had to be adjusted and the business organisation sized down in relation to the phasing out of current projects. This happened hand in hand with the legal reorientation of the company as a result of the amalgamation, transformation and liquidation of its subsidiaries.

The result

At the end of an orderly and “quiet” winding up, the partner/investor was able to bank the profit forecast from the liquidation. He was relieved of all the pressures of day-to-day business on the way, but was kept informed at all times of what was going on and participated in every fundamental decision taken.