With the U.S. economy now officially in recession and media M&A ground to a virtual halt, investment bankers DeSilva + Phillips is now looking to tap into the growing market for companies in need of financial restructuring.
The service comes at a time when many magazine publishers are undergoing financial reforecastings and organizational restructurings. Perhaps the most significant example is Time Inc., which in late October announced a dramatic restructuring that is said to include approximately 600 layoffs.
DeSilva + Phillips Monday launched an operational restructuring practice it says will provide advice to media companies, private equity funds and commercial lenders on improving financial performance. Managed by partner and CFO Kenneth Collins and consultancy firm Zielinski Financial Advisors, the practice will review and analyze a company’s business to identify revenue enhancement and cost savings opportunities.
"We added this service because a number of clients have been requesting it and we’ve just finished some assignments," managing partner Reed Phillips wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. "Typically, a magazine publisher wants a third-party who is knowledgeable about the magazine industry to provide recommendations for strategies necessary when a recession occurs."
The firm says it will also advise on topics including divesting assets, restructuring existing debt and/or equity and raising capital—including assisting clients with “bank covenant restructuring and negotiation."
"In general, our advice in these hard economic times, which are coupled with a transforming media industry, is to go to zero-based budgeting, re-imagine your business model to include a major emphasis on digital opportunities and give up any sacred cows," Phillips wrote.