Food and beverage business
Background. When the business was transferred to A-Ventures Management Company it was passing through a heavy crisis critical. the asset portfolio contained many non-core assets: low-alcohol beverage, beer, confectionary, and other similar ones. Creditors had initiated legal proceedings touching upon some of the assets. The company’s market share was constantly shrinking. It had no realistic opportunities for the development of business, no funds to finance marketing and sales, it failed to sustain consumer loyalty. Back then market players demonstrated a trend to consolidate their assets and pursue aggressive marketing, sales, and logistics policies. Small independent players were on the verge of being driven out of the market. Our client was in a pre-bankruptcy situation. Our team was engaged to recover the company from the situation and increase the efficiency of its business.
Our actions. We restructured the company’s legal entities, identified and sold non-core assets. We developed a new business plan and raised extra funding. We optimised the company’s operations in order to increase the quality of its products, developed new brands, prepared them for market release, and launched a new marketing campaign. We restructured the clients’ debt portfolio, optimised its operations, reduced its costs and debt burden. The given measures allowed the company to increase its market share and revenues, as well as achieve profitability.
The business was saved, restructured, and sold to one of the global leaders of the beverage industry.
Background. The company was facing many-year operating losses, the volume of transhipped goods was going down constantly. By the moment we launched restructuring, it amounted to 25% of the nominal volume. Those factors had led the port to bankruptcy.
Our actions. Our team restructured the assets of the port and the creditors’ claims. Key assets were recovered from bankruptcy. The bankruptcy of the old legal entity was successfully accomplished. Its assets were transferred to a new legal entity during restructuring. We also recovered the port’s operations and restored its solvency. We developed a project for the crisis recovery of the port and the development of a business plan for it. The management of the port were replaced by a brand-new team, and workplace discipline was significantly improved. After the re-launch of the port’s activity we held a series of negotiations with clients. Within a year’s time the workload of the port tripled.
Our business plan included dredging in order to extend the range of ships that could be served at the port and raise the capacity of the port. We negotiated with strategic partners in order to define the types of cargo the port would be able to serve: oil products, bulk cargo, etc. We developed several port development options and estimated the amount of investment required for its execution, as well as the ROI period. We obtained a dredging permit from Rosmorport and raised required financing, after which the works were launched. At the same time, we had mooring, transhipment, and warehousing facilities modernised.
Our restructuring and development activity allowed recovering the seaport. The enterprise achieved financial sustainability. Later the asset was sold to a strategic investor at a price ensuring high profitability for our client
Food production business
Background.A group of meat processing plants consisting of two plants was in a crisis situation. One plant was in a pre-bankruptcy condition: it faced operating losses, its employees failed to get salary in due time, and its accounts payable were overdue. The other plant was on the verge of unprofitability. Its workload was minimal. Both plants used outdated equipment that required modernization and additional investments, to meet the requirements of regulatory authorities, among other things. The business also included a retail chain that required additional investments and working capital.
Our activity. Our team accomplished restructuring of the asset. First of all, we replaced the management with a brand – new team. We decided to close the first plant initiating bankruptcy proceedings. Unpaid salaries were paid in full. The retail chain was removed from the structure of the second plant and sold. The raised funds were used to modernise and repair the equipment of the plant.
The business was restructured and sold to a group of private investors.
Background. The infrastructure of the airport was outdated. The business was in stagnation and needed a new development strategies, up-to-date equipment, and ways to increase the profitability of its operations.
Our activity. A-Ventures Management Company supported by a private investor, the RF Ministry of Transport, and the local Administration launched an airport development program that was supposed to turn the airport into an air hub and significantly increase its passenger flow. The development strategy included the building of new infrastructural sites, the invitation of new companies to cooperate with the airport, and the re-equipment of all services of the airport. A new international terminal was built, the business aviation terminal was reconstructed, and the building of an internal flight terminal was launched. Eventually, the airport managed to ascend to one of the top positions of the rating of Russian airports by its passenger flow. Later a separate management company was established in order to manage the airport and create a holding company.
Currently the holding company manages several airports in Russia and is one of the country’s leading operators.
Associated petroleum gas processing engineering start-up
Situation. The start-up needed its partial oxidation technology improved and commercialised. In combination with a mini-modular unit, it could be used for the creation of a mini GTL facility. This facility needed a number of innovative technological upgrades to be able to efficiently process associated petroleum gas (APG) and similar products with broad fractions of light hydrocarbons used in the production of propane, butane, and stable natural gasoline. The equipment the start-up worked on could also be used for the recycling of APG at remote and hard-to-reach deposits with undeveloped infrastructure.
Our activity. At the stage of project launch A-Ventures registered a legal entity to hold patents and rights to intellectual property. We structured the start-up’s relations with the authors of the used technologies and the foreign partner of it. We also launched operating activity and R&D. We engaged a number of oil companies in the test-launching the system and obtained technical statements for the process and the technology. The system was tested. We assessed capital and operating expenses. We received a grant of USD 5 million for the further development of the project. After that, an investor was invited to take part in the development of the business and the building of the first industrial facility.
The share of A-Ventures in the project was successfully sold to a second-round investor. Currently, the business is developing towards the commercialisation of the technology, as well as an independent engineering company.
Non-ferrous metal processing plant
Background.The plant had been an independent non-ferrous metal processing plant for many years. Having no own sources of raw materials, the plant faced certain market challenges: the decline in market demand, fierce competition with other market players, the decrease of operating margins because of Russian scrap metal and primary copper prices rising to international levels, the growth of the cost of production, etc.
Our activity.The team ofA-VenturesManagement Company had the key managers of the plant replaced. We developed a long-term development strategy, namely new strategic projects were launched: a brass working mini-plant and a facility producing various items from oxygen-free copper were launched, the site’s production was centralised, and the logistics and production chains were optimised, etc. During our management of the asset, it managed to come to new international markers and established long-term business relations with EU consumers. The share of the plant’s export sales reached 25% of the total volume of production. The efficiency of the plant’s operations was increased and working capital management was optimised. Corporate structure was optimised with unnecessary jobs being cut. Raw material and currency market hedging were implemented.
During the implementation of a new operating strategy, we managed to invite a new portfolio investor and sold a minority stake in the plant. A significant amount of dividends was paid during our asset management. In fierce competition conditions, the plant continued its development, and its market share was growing constantly. By 2016, it reached 29% of the market, and the plant managed to preserve its status of the leader of the Russian round stock segment of non-ferrous metals market.
Precious metal refining and processing plant
Background. The plant was in a distress The process of production relocation to a new production site was launched; it had a negative influence on the operation of the plant – it started losing its position in the Russian market to competitors. The plant had a number of court cases with its contractors including ex-managers and had a conflict with minority shareholders. The plant had no development strategy, the majority of its operations and production processes were inefficient or did not meet the requirements of the new site. In particular, the plant had not obtained required permits from regulatory and supervising authorities to continue its operating activities.
Our activity. Our team conducted extensive work on the restructuring and modernization of the asset. We improved and fulfilled the project on the relocation of the plant to a new site including the obtainment of all required permits from regulatory and supervising authorities. The management team was replaced and reinforced. A new development strategy was elaborated. The efficiency of production was increased, and all business processes were changed. The profit earned by the plant allowed it to technically modernise all production processes and plant infrastructure.
New businesses activities were launched including precious metal management, waste recycling, secondary raw material and industrial residual processing. We actively negotiated with end consumers and managed to get key clients back. As a result of the launch of a large-scale export program, the client base was significantly diversified and increased. The products of the company were released into 35 countries.
In 2014, the company managed to extend its production and technological potential through the M&A deals with foreign companies, as well as the purchase of the leader in precious metal in Central Europe and other foreign markets.
As a result the company eventually advanced from a regional plant into global player of the previous metal market with its production localised in 4 regions: Russia, Europe, the USA,and China. The plant now has affiliated companies in Europe and Asia. Its key financials have substantially grown. Our clients – the shareholders received a significant flow of dividends. Currently the plant continues developing and expanding, investing into R&D technologies, entering new market and expanding its production facilities.
Background. The plant has been one of the key companies in the chemical industry – it manufactured salts, chemical reagents, acids, and other substances used in different industries. The company faced fierce competition with international companies and smaller players. Moreover, most of its consumers closed their facilities. That resulted in the significant reduction of its sales. By the time A-Ventures was engaged, the company’s production level had gone down seriously – due to high infrastructural expenses and the lack of new products and sources of income it was losing profit for many years. In fact, the plant was in a many-year crisis situation. The crisis affected various aspects of the company’s activity, from its core assets to the management system and team. Besides the majority shareholder, the company had a number of minority stakeholders.
Our activity.First of all our team developed a set of prompt measures intended to recover the plant from its stagnant situation: reinforcement of the management team; operating expense optimization; searching for new products that didn’t not require capital investment;; production concentration; infrastructure reorganization; and searching for extra sources of income. At the next phase of our management, we managed to find new lines of business that could be started on the basis of existing assets and technologies.
Currently the plant’s production is centralised, new products have been released to the market. The company has started gaining profit from its operations. The company is developing and launching new products using its technology base and the substantially improved infrastructure of the plant.
Real estate business in Baltic region
Background. The business was started from scratch by A-Ventures team. It was one of the many development projects launched in the Baltic market in 2004-2007, the period of rapid growth. The crisis of 2008 – 2009 seriously affected the Baltic market, which made the majority of companies go into the bankruptcy.
Our activity. A-Ventures developed a new business plan and negotiated with banks on the restructuring of the company’s debt in 2008-2009. Within the frames of the new business strategy, a number of successful projects were executed in different segments of the development market - premium, affordable, and commercial real estate – including one of the largest public-private partnership projects in the Baltic market.
As a result of the development of the efficient development strategy, the company managed to survive two crises (2008 – 2009 and 2014 – 2015) and continue its activity, thanks to the re-structuring of its loans. In 2015 the majority stake in the anchor commercial project was sold, bringing the shareholder significant profit.
Technology venture start-up (petrochemical industry)
Background. A-Ventures and its partners launched a venture start-up intended to operate in the fields of gas chemistry and reforming optimisation.
Our activity. We assessed the technological potential of various ideas, developments, and intellectual property items for further development and commercialisation. We structured key ideas and new developments within a new legal entity; entered into contracts with a number of institutions; had a number of patents registered, including patents touching upon the protection of rights in targeted foreign markets; established a business management and development team; engaged new investors to the first phase of project financing and development.
Currently the first semi-industrial facility of the start-up is being constructed; an agreement with a foreign technology partner has been signed; the start-up is currently raising investments and financing from both Russian and foreign foundations. The business keeps developing, particularly, in foreign markets. Since the launch of the project, its capitalisation has grown by many times.