Sheffield-headquartered Jaywing Plc has decided against a possible sale and ended its strategic review while its CEO has stepped down.

Andrew Fryatt (pictured) has resigned and will step down from the board with immediate effect, with CFO Christopher Hughes now expanding his role to take in COO duties. He will join the board with immediate effect. 

David Beck, who joined the board in April, will become executive chairman with immediate effect and take over the chairmanship from Ian Robinson, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

In March the marketing and data science business began a strategic review and entered what is known in the city as an ‘offer period’ to appease its lenders DSC Investment Holdings and Lombard Odier as it seeks to recover profitability.

At that time, Jaywing increased its loan facility with them by more than £500k, taking it to almost £10 million.

“The very tough trading conditions over the last 2-3 years have begun to ease somewhat and the hard decisions on cost-cutting taken by the company, coupled with increased business confidence, give us some cause for optimism,” the firm stated to the London Stock Exchange.

“Whilst it is too early to predict any sustained recovery, the board has concluded that seeking to crystallise value through a sale of the company at this time is not in the interests of stakeholders.”

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The strategic review and ‘offer period’ has now therefore ended.

Jaywing said the financial year to 31st March 2024 ended with the winning of a number of major pieces of work across the UK and Australia including a significant piece of work in the UK from one of its existing Australian clients.  

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However it reported: “Conversely our UK consulting division, which had been trading very strongly for much of the last financial year, reported an unexpectedly weak last quarter as scheduled work with a major customer did not materialise. This trend has continued in the first quarter of the current year.

“The shortfall in UK consulting revenues pending increased cash receipts from growing UK Agency revenues has increased the strain on the company’s working capital.  This, combined with some additional one off costs of further reducing ongoing operating expenses, means the company intends to enter discussions with its two lenders, DSC Investment Holdings Limited and Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited, both of which are represented on the board, regarding increasing the existing facility it has in place with them.”

Beck added: “Whilst the board will continue to benefit from Ian Robinson’s advice and guidance as a non-executive director, I would like to thank him for his stewardship of the group in his period as chairman.

“I look forward to working with the strong management teams we have in place in all divisions to take the business forward.”

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