We help our clients to develop and implement value creating strategies
Established in 1987, Arkwright is a strategy advisory firm with a staff of about 100 professionals and partners, with offices in Hamburg, Oslo and Stockholm. Arkwright is owned by senior staff.
At Arkwright, we are pragmatic about methodology and passionate about creating results for our clients. Because every client faces its own set of unique challenges, we believe that each one requires tailored, client-oriented advice based on strong analytical skills and deep business know-how. We contribute to our clients’ success with expert industry insights and facts that matter.
We help our clients develop and implement value-creating strategies. To secure results, we strive to be business- and practice-oriented in order to craft actionable strategies that build sustainable value.
Arkwright closely works with a wide range of private corporations—both small cap and large, blue-chip companies—all of which share the objective of optimizing their businesses and increasing profitability.
PRIVATE EQUITY EXPERTISE
Private Equity funds are important clients for Arkwright. In the Nordic region, we work with ten of the most significant
buyout funds with total assets under management of 35 B EUR. We have also worked with several of the largest European / Global funds. Since 2005, we have carried out nearly 200 projects within the private equity sector including work on:
• Deal flow support and screening of potential investment opportunities
• Commercial due diligence for both platform investments and add-on acquisitions
• Supporting portfolio companies in their business plans and implementation work
• Helping management and fund managers plan and prepare exit strategies
Our value proposition for private equity is rooted in:
• A solid understanding of what it takes to build and develop an attractive investment case, identifying both
upside potential and risk factors
• Our unique, tailor-made approach to problem solving—reflected in every assignment
• Comprehensive and proprietary analysis based on facts that matter
• Decisions based on continuously updated analysis, never conventional wisdom or yesterday’s news
• Analysis and insights based on extensive interviewing with relevant customers, competitors and industry
experts—often 100‒150 interviews (in addition to extensive desktop research) for a single project
Most of the private equity funds we work for are diversified – meaning that we have supported them in a wide range of industries (business services, oil & gas, health care, technology, financial services, retail/consumer goods, etc.).
Lars Rimmereid – Director, Oslo
Frank Wunderlich – Associate Director, Hamburg
VALUE REALIZATION OF 5X MONEY
In 2004, Arkwright was engaged by a private equity fund to perform a commercial due diligence investigation of a
health care company. Read more
VALUE REALIZATION OF 5X MONEY
In 2004, Arkwright was engaged by a private equity fund to perform a commercial due diligence investigation of a health care company. The company was operating primarily in the Nordic region and had a relatively limited product portfolio.
The commercial due diligence work found:
• A large European market with stable growth and attractive margins
• A fragmented industry with very few providers or strong owners
• Only a handful of suppliers with a ‘complete’ product portfolio relevant to customers
• A strong need for industry consolidation (from a customer and supplier perspective)
When the company was acquired by the private equity fund, its revenue was about 100 M EUR, 90% of which came from the Nordic region. Five years later, revenue had grown to 350 M EUR, with only 40% from the Nordic region. This was achieved through organic initiatives and a number of acquisitions. The company’s exit value was fivefold greater than the entry value, including investments made during the ownership period.
Arkwright’s role during the ownership period included:
• Helping management explore alternative strategies and implement a ‘European portfolio strategy’
• Working hand-in-hand with the organization, at both top management levels and on regional/ product levels, to
facilitate several strategic processes
• Performing commercial due diligence in support of eight add-on acquisitions to build European presence and
acquire product ownership
• Helping prepare an exit strategy (‘explaining’ the business model and underlying market fundamentals and
documenting business cases)
VALUE REALIZATION OF 5X MONEY
• Domestic business
• Revenue of 100 mill Euro
• 10% EBIT margin
• Narrow product range
• 80% 3rd party products
• European business
• Leading market positions
• Revenue of 350 mill Euro
• 13% EBIT margin
• Broad product portfolio
(with own products)
Since its establishment in 1987, Arkwright has supported a broad spectrum of industrial clients across sectors such as infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, metal and process industry.
Companies in these sectors face similar daily challenges: making investments in assets and future development to secure a leading position in tomorrow’s markets while, at the same time, building an agile organization with a flexible cost structure to enable quick adaptation to turbulence in the present.
Over the course of more than 300 projects, Arkwright has developed extensive and hands-on experience in supporting business leaders and organizations secure:
• Superior growth by leveraging existing technology to enter into profitable new segments and niches
• Reduced cyclicality and altered business mixes through the development and successful launch of aftermarket concepts
• Increased profitability through new pricing schemes and revenue models linked to capacity utilization and
• Successful acquisitions that strengthen core businesses after development of a focused M&A strategy and exhaustive
deal screening and due diligence
• Increased profitability by implementing raw material sourcing strategies that take into account value effects along the
entire value chain and organization
BEATING THE INDEXES AND GENERATING BEST-IN-CLASS SHAREHOLDER RETURN
In 2008, Arkwright was engaged by a listed international industrial group to support the development of a
long-term strategy. Read more
BEATING THE INDEXES AND GENERATING BEST-IN-CLASS SHAREHOLDER RETURN
In 2008, Arkwright was engaged by a listed international industrial group to support the development of a long-term strategy. The group had historically experienced strong profitable growth and its portfolio companies had become market leaders in their respective core markets over time. However, with these core markets maturing, competition intensifying and financial turmoil looming, the group required a new strategy to maintain its superior shareholder returns.
For the last six years, Arkwright has provided critical strategy consulting to the group:
• Facilitating the annual strategic process on both the group and portfolio levels
• Translating strategy into actionable plans and conducting annual post-action reviews to ensure follow-through
and value realization
• Helping identify the most attractive segments and geographies for organic growth
• Reviewing possible acquisition candidates and conducting deal screenings
Since 2008, the group has experienced double-digit profitable growth, successfully expanded into a new segment through the acquisition of a third portfolio company, strengthened its core business and continued to deliver superior shareholder returns. Over this period, share prices have increased nearly threefold, generating a best-in-class TSR rating, twice as high as competitors’ averages.
1 Janaury 2008 - 19 November 2013, TSR
Peer Group average
OIL, GAS & ENERGY
OIL,GAS & ENERGY EXPERTISE
Arkwright is a leading provider of consulting services in the oil, gas and energy sector; we cover all segments of the value chain: seismic, drilling, subsea, field development, production and MMO.
OIL, GAS & ENERGY CASE
The world’s largest oilfield equipment supplier (33 B USD, 64,000 employees) made a strategic decision to move into
offshore production. Read more
In addition, through our German office we bring in comprehensive expertise with regard to strategic issues of energy utilities particularly in the areas of Smart Energy, regional utilities, commodity business and sales.
Regional Energy StrategyREGIONAL UTILITY COMPANIESSmart GridPRODUCT DEVELOPMENTSales StrategySALESAnalysis Market PotentialSmart MeteringSales Strategy LocalEnergy AgenciesRedraft Tariff PortfolioSmart HomePublic Energy CollectivesCorporate ProfileDecentral GenerationSales of Energy SolutionsEnergy Autarkic CommuneEnergy ManagementMarket Partner ModellExtension Value ChainIntelligent LoadSales OrganisationExpansion StrategyE-MobilityNew Markets
Our work is based on an extensive knowledge base and a network stemming from engagements with more than 100 companies. Our client list includes a wide variety of companies, ranging from large global players to smaller technology/ engineering start-ups. We have also worked extensively with private equity firms and industrial companies that have invested in this sector.
The majority of our work relates to:
• Strategy & growth: Many of our clients see the potential to expand their business into both new regions and adjacent
market segments. We help management obtain a deep understanding of market opportunities and the current
competitive situation before advising them on how to implement their strategy.
• Reorganization/ restructuring: We have helped companies reduce costs to improve their competitiveness, as oil
companies are increasingly focused on their OPEX and CAPEX spending.
• Commercial due diligence: Since 2005, we have been involved in roughly 150 transactions in Europe, giving us
unparalleled experience in this field.
Our clients benefit from our knowledge of the global oilfield services industry, our unique tailored, fact-based approach and our exceptional teams with longstanding industry experience.
NAVIGATING THROUGH ROUGH WATERS
The world’s largest oilfield equipment supplier (33 B USD, 64,000 employees) made a strategic decision to move into offshore production. Arkwright worked continuously with management on numerous projects to develop a completely new delivery model for this expansion of the company’s business.
One project focused on holistic-asset design and project execution for delivery through partnering with different providers across the value chain. In parallel, Arkwright advised the client on the expansion and development of its portfolio of related equipment and services.
The client is currently in direct negotiations with several oil companies for the delivery of complete offshore production assets based on its revolutionary new model. This has vaulted what had been a second-tier player in offshore production into a position of market leadership based on its unique products and technologies.
From newspapers, magazines, radio and TV to the internet and digital media, the media industry is going through a rapid process of change. Former cornerstones of profitability have completely eroded, while high fixed costs are continuously being reduced.
Arkwright has been working with key players in the media industry for over a decade to help redirect them back onto a path of growth and profitability, allowing them to outperform their peers.
Each media category has its own challenges, which need to be addressed in a tailored approach. The challenges often differ from country to country due to customer preferences, historical development or government regulations. Even in stagnating or declining markets, like for newspapers, superior performance can be achieved by streamlining production and back-office processes while allocating sufficient resources to journalism departments so as to deliver high-quality content to the audience.
The transition to the “digital world” requires that media companies adapt quickly, oftentimes via acquisitions of start-ups or rapidly growing digital companies. Arkwright has extensive expertise not only in corporate development advice but also in M&A (buy and sell sides) and due diligence in the media sector.
Arkwright supports managers and owners of traditional and new media, often in long-lasting client relationships.
Our expertise includes:
• Optimization of the long-term value of traditional print media by utilizing best practices in printing, distribution,
reader-market initiatives, editorial departments and advertising sales.
• Short and long-term consolidation plans for home markets to strengthen market position vis-à-vis readers and
advertisers—often creating significant cost savings along the entire value chain as well.
• Informed portfolio evaluations based on in-depth industry understanding, best practices from international markets
and a profound understanding of client-specific situations.
• Extension of the traditional product range by identifying new growth areas within print and digital media such as free
sheets, online classifieds or new digital offerings such as payment services, with acquisitions supported by a thorough
• Securing long-term growth and profitability through aggressive digital transformation, combining existing activities,
making acquisitions and launching start-ups.
• Support for divestiture of core and non-core activities such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations and
MAKING A MOVE INTO ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS
For several years, Arkwright has supported a major European media client as it has both optimized existing print titles and moved into new activities such as commuter papers. Read more
MAKING A MOVE INTO ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS
For several years, Arkwright has supported a major European media client as it has both optimized existing print titles and moved into new activities such as commuter papers. The client was faced with rapidly declining revenues from print classifieds in its home market within the major segments of jobs, homes and cars—despite being the undisputed regional market leader for all three. The online classified activities that the company had launched had been largely unsuccessful.
Management asked Arkwright to develop a completely new strategy for transitioning successfully into online classifieds.
To do this, we had to help the company address several key questions:
• What are the individual drivers for ads and advertisers in each of the three segments?
• To what extent is market development driven by structural changes and to what extent by business cycles?
• Which competitors have been more successful and why?
• What strategic options (buy, build or exit) exist in each segment?
Rigorous analysis made it clear that a completely different approach had to be developed for each major segment. Arkwright completed the project by supporting the client in acquiring its main competitor in the homes segment through a joint venture with a second media group, re-launching existing activities in the jobs segment and closing down existing activities in the automotive segment.
PAYMENT KEY EXPERTISE
Arkwright has supported over 50 clients in the payment industry over a period of two decades. Our team has successfully completed over 200 payment projects and supports clients by utilizing a broad range of skills:
Our payment team supports clients throughout Europe in the following sectors:
Consultancy and Advice is provided along the entire payment value chain:
Steven Jacob – Director, Hamburg
Jens-Peter Schulz - Director, Hamburg
Frank Wunderlich - Associate Director, Stockholm
FINANCIAL SERVICES EXPERTISE
Since its founding and through more than 400 projects, Arkwright has supported a broad spectrum of financial services clients in banking, insurance, payments, asset management and specialty niche segments as well as auxiliary services.
Companies across all financial services sectors are facing challenges from ever-changing conditions: emerging disruptive technologies, changing customer needs and behavior, changing regulatory frameworks and interest-rate levels as well as instability in financial markets in times of financial or sovereign debt crises. Altered market dynamics and regulatory frameworks are constantly redefining success factors for industry players.
To be capable of creating competitive advantage in this ever-changing environment, financial services players need to answer critical questions:
• How do changing customer needs and behavior impact value-chain positioning and industry structure?
• What value propositions should we address?
• How do we reach out to customers in the most compelling way?
• What new business models are emerging?
• What risk level is appropriate?
• How should we develop operations and cost structures to better align with margin pressure?
Arkwright works with leading financial services players to help them improve and adapt their strategic positioning and achieve operational excellence amid ever-changing conditions. Through close cooperation with our clients, Arkwright supports managers and organizations with creative, cost-effective and hands-on strategies that create results.
NAVIGATING ROUGH WATERS
For the last ten years, a leading Nordic financial services provider, with some 40 BEUR in assets under management,
has been supported by Arkwright with strategy consulting. Read more
NAVIGATING ROUGH WATERS
For the last ten years, Arkwright has provided strategic consultancy services to a leading Nordic financial services provider with approximately 40 B EUR in assets under management.
Our tasks for this client have included: facilitating a distribution strategy for external partners; creating a leading position in the broker channel; supporting digitization in the development of an award-winning online channel for insurance, savings and loans; and supporting post-transaction integration. Although the industry, during this period, has suffered a financial crisis, sovereign debt crises and decreasing customer promoter scores, the client has continuously ranked high with its customers while substantially increasing the volume of assets they have entrusted to its management.
Through Arkwright’s work with this client we have helped it to:
• Increase profitability through new pricing schemes in accordance with customer preferences
• Safeguard business viability and competitiveness through changing revenue models in accordance
with new regulatory and market requirements
• Enable superior growth by developing new offerings based on emerging customer needs
• Achieve superior growth by leveraging existing offerings to enter new and profitable customer
segments and emerging online distribution channels
• Strengthen the core business through successful acquisitions after thorough due diligence processes
• Develop value-creation plans aligning owner, board and management views and objectives as well as
hands-on plans to capitalize on market opportunities on the operational level
• Divest non-core operations
Facing ever-increasing competition, price pressure and upcoming regulatory changes, this client asked Arkwright to help develop a new business model for its life and pension operations. We worked with them to create an internal incentive model to safeguard profitable growth by stimulating changing behaviour in the marketing organization, and to take steps to expand their customer offerings and price model. The principles for the new business model were endorsed by the client’s steering committee in 2013.
RETAIL FMCG EXPERTISE
The retail and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) markets are among the largest in the Nordic region and in Europe generally. Companies in these markets are undertaking fundamental transformations such as vertical integration of value chains, shifts from brick-and-mortar to online stores and innovative ways of interacting with customers.
Over the last two decades, Arkwright has worked extensively with leading players in the retail and FMCG markets.
Our work—ranging from investment analyses performed for investors considering entering the sector to detailed
product-line profitability studies for established industrial players—has involved us in hundreds of projects in most of
the European markets.
RETAIL FMCG CASE
The client is a leading Nordic retail group with revenues of more than 10 B EUR. The group was formed by a merger of independent retailers and wholesalers in the 1990s, since which time Arkwright has been a strategic advisor to the group’s management, board and owners. Read more
RETAIL FMCG CASE
The client is a leading Nordic retail group with revenues of more than 10 B EUR. The group was formed by a merger of independent retailers and wholesalers in the 1990s, since which time Arkwright has been a strategic advisor to the group’s management, board and owners. During this period, the client has transformed itself from a local, fragmented group of companies into a leading, integrated retail player with an authentic Nordic footprint. Revenues have increased sixfold while margins continue to improve.
As a strategic advisor, Arkwright has supported the client in a range of transactions: acquiring retail chains, wholesale businesses and key brand suppliers, and divesting non-core activity. The M&A activities have been a part of a corporate strategy that Arkwright has helped develop. We have also supported the transformation of the leading supermarket chain in the Nordic market through a broad range of projects involving category strategies, product line profitability, concept development, marketing strategies, governance models, operational efficiency, etc.
Based on our long-term partnership, Arkwright is able to support the client with high-quality strategic advice that both leads to greater efficiency and is relevant to market conditions.
GROWTH: GROSS SALES 6X AND EBITDA 9X DURING 15+ YEARS OF ARKWRIGHT ADVISORY