Wace was a high profile plc in the printing sector which:

  • grew rapidly by acquisition in the late 1980’s under a dynamic chief executive (who was subsequently investigated by the DTI)
  • was forced to restructure following property devaluations in the early 1990s but re-established itself under a new chief executive in the mid 1990s achieving turnover of £312m and operating profits of £27m in 1995 with operations in UK, USA, France and Holland
  • in 1996/7 suffered a downturn in business which high operational gearing translated into substantial losses that breached loan covenants
    renegotiated the terms of its £55m debt in late 1987; and
  • In April 1988 sold the majority of its UK printing businesses for £53m to a management team backed by Electra Fleming and repositioned itself as the world's largest provider of pre-press services to major international corporations

James Haddock was Group Financial Controller from November 1996 to April 1998 and was intimately involved with all the transactions in that period.