Causes of financial distress can be internal – like underquoted contractual commitments – or external – for instance, changes to the demand or supply side of a business resulting from changed economic circumstances, such as COVID-19. In many cases, it is a combination of both.

Financial distress is best understood not as being a singular state but, rather, a wide spectrum: from inability to pay statutory liabilities (BAS payments) on time to inability to pay wages – and everything in between. Where a business sits on the spectrum impacts its ability to restructure its affairs. Generally speaking, earlier intervention offers a broader suite of options.

Business restructuring and turnaround initiatives available are unique to the circumstances of each business, but can generally be classified under three distinct streams:

  • Strategic initiatives (e.g. pivoting to new markets, divesting or acquiring business units)
  • Operational initiatives (e.g. modifying key performance drivers, such as customer pricing, employee remuneration/incentives, overhead reviews)
  • Financial initiatives (e.g. restructuring debt repayment profiles and, in certain cases, compromising debt either formally or informally)

Assuming responsibility for formulating and executing a business restructure or turnaround strategy can be challenging for management, particularly if resources are already stretched dealing with the day-to-day operations and obligations of the business.

Grant Thornton’s restructuring and turnaround team works closely with key stakeholders – including owners, managers and lenders – to quickly identify and resolve issues affecting profitability, protect enterprise value and recover value. We’ve successfully managed restructuring and turnaround projects across a variety of industries in time-critical situations and have a strong track record of helping mid-sized businesses and organisations build sustainable platforms for growth.

At an early stage, we develop a re-organisation plan to drive successful outcomes for our clients, including a financial, operational and strategic analysis and a management team assessment. Our goal is to get businesses and organisations back on track and put them on the course to future growth.

We also provide lender support services to major banks, private equity specialist financiers and international financial institutions.

Learn more about insolvency-related services:

Our Restructuring and turnaround services

Independent business reviews

Does your company need a health check? Grant Thornton’s expert team can help you get to the heart of your issues to drive sustainable growth.

Commercial performance

We help clients improve commercial performance, profitability and address challenges after internal or external triggers require a major business model shift.

Safe Harbour advisory

Our Safe Harbour advisory helps directors address requirements for Safe Harbour protection and business turnaround.

Corporate simplification

We provide corporate simplification and managed wind-down advice to help streamline and further improve your business.

Director advisory services

We provide strategic director advisory services in times of business distress to help directors navigate issues and protect their company and themselves from liability.

Debt advisory

We work closely with clients and lenders to provide holistic debt advisory services so you can raise or manage existing debt to meet your strategic goals.

Get in touch
Partner & National Head of Restructuring Advisory
Matt Byrnes
Matt Byrnes
Partner & National Head of Restructuring Advisory
Matt Byrnes

Case study: Making key international - and regulated - leadership changes in a pandemic

Client challenge
A Japanese company acquired an Australian entity before the outbreak of COVID-19. About a year after the acquisition took place – and during the global pandemic – the General Manager resigned. This GM was also the only Australian resident director – a requirement of doing business in Australia. With no direct experience of running a business in Australia and travel restrictions, the company was unable to run the subsidiary on the ground. They needed to immediately identify a candidate to fill the GM role and to ensure the key functions were supported effectively during the transition.
The solution
A team at Grant Thornton was engaged to help run the process for engaging a new Company Director. We also assisted on transitioning responsibility from the departing GM to the temporary new GM, as well as oversaw other matters required by the Board. Supporting local management was key to the business operating effectively, so there were regular on-site and local management meetings. The team also liaised with the client’s largest customer, ensuring consistency in the relationship at a key time for the business.
The outcome
The Grant Thornton team was able to move quickly to identify the right people for the key leadership roles, being GM and local Australian-resident Director. The team provided financial support and was the on-the-ground liaison for the Parent company to ensure ongoing stability of the local business.
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