Having the right leader in place during a turnaround is critical for success. in the case of the Elders restructure, it took three!


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Elders was on the brink of collapse following the global financial crisis because of a convergence of factors:

  • During the preceding 20 years, the group aggressively expanded into core and non-core businesses in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, forestry, automotive parts and fine china tableware.

  • Much of that expansion was funded through debt, which exceeded $1 billion.

  • The high levels of acquisition and divestment left the group with a complex group structure of over 250 companies, as well as management challenges given the diversity of the portfolio.

  • During FY09 the Group incurred heavy losses through poor performance of several of its acquired businesses and a general downturn in market conditions in its key business areas.

Our role:

As advisers to the lending syndicate, we acted as the intermediary between the group, its advisers, and the syndicate, during a restructuring process which took five years. That role involved the ongoing assessment of numerous proposed turnaround initiatives.

During the turnaround, there were three different leaders at the helm, with each bringing a different skill set and focus to the circumstances and requirements at the time. While each had their own style, they had common characteristics which are present in all successful turnaround leaders: 

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How can we help?

We frequently work with corporates to assist management teams navigate uncertainty – we can make the difference to how your business preserves, creates and delivers value in times of crisis.

Our experienced team knows that a successful turnaround must address the fundamental problems, tackle the underlying causes and be broad and deep enough to resolve all key business issues within each phase of a turnaround.