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Paul Comyn, Rockstar Mentor and Southnews PLC
Here, Rockstar Mentor, Paul Comyn explains how he bought into a regional newpaper during a management buy in for 3m pounds and helped build it up to a tradesale. It sold 13 years later for 285m pounds.
Paul Comyn came in as the Financial Director of the company following the management buy in. Over a 13 year period it grew from a £3m management buy-in to an exit by a trade sale for £285m. Paul’s involvement was over a wide range of areas:
- Development of group strategy in all areas of the business. Establishment and development of a strong system of financial reporting and controls, which was capable of handling growth.
- Acquisition planning and negotiation (executing over 13 successful acquisitions).
- Post-acquisition re-organisation and management integration.
- Communication with shareholders and other City relationships.
- Responsibility for introduction and implementation of corporate governance standards in the group. Handling of relationships with professional advisors, including all legal matters.
- All major aspects of banking relationships, in particular negotiation of finance for acquisitions.Development of the new media strategy and the group IT systems.
Paul helped the company grow from a small management buy-in to be London’s leading publisher of local newspapers and a, fully listed, well regarded company with a market capitalisation, at its recommended take-over, of £285m. Turnover grew from £15m to £95m and operating losses were transformed into profits of £20m. The shareholder made a profit on exit of £250m.