In what appears to be a continually evolving situation, the Chairman of the Garenne Group has handed in his “untimely resignation”.
The news that Julian Winser has retired comes after a series of high-profile blows to the group, most recently the collapse of its biggest owned business, the Jersey based construction firm Camerons.
The Garenne Group used to own dozens of businesses spread across Guernsey, Jersey and the UK, but following the announcement in August last year that the group would be restructuring there have been several sales and management buyouts, leading to the group’s portfolio shrinking considerably.
Just earlier this week it was announced that RG Falla – who used to sit under the Group umbrella - had been acquired by a private investment company in Guernsey. Another company, Geomarine was sold through a management buyout earlier this year.
The departure of Mr Winser leaves three executive directors split across Guernsey and Jersey. They have chosen to share the role of Chair while a new Chair is found.
“These three directors are pursuing their new business model and are currently in detailed negotiations with the directors of other group companies in delivering management buyout opportunities,” the Group told Express.
It has been a difficult period for the Group, and it has bemoaned supply chain issues that led to the collapse of Camerons, “where a number of fixed price contracts tendered immediately before the start of the pandemic could not be completed within their contracted sums due to spiralling costs”.
“That financial pressure and significant upset has been felt by the group directors who are experiencing the pain of seeing the group that they have served being reduced in size and influence.”
Despite this, the Group remains positive and continues to focus on its new investment-based business model.
It said: “Since that time a series of management buyouts and sales have been engineered and the board is pleased that new shareholders have become owners of some very successful businesses.
“They are benefiting from the strong foundations laid whilst those companies were members of the group. The group directors are pleased to note that these businesses are prospering under new leadership. This change in business model was prompted by the retirement of two key executives and retirement planning for the principal shareholder.”
It said there are “bright futures” for its remaining businesses.
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