In a sign of the rising turmoil in fenestration right now, it has been announced that the investment fund BECAP12, which owns Everest Home Improvements, is to be cancelled from its listing on the LSE.

There have been a series of announcements on the Better Capital website in the last couple of weeks which signal a major move for the company, one of the most recognizable brand in our sector.

Key developments

This is a brief timeline of the main developments posted on the Better Capital website over the past few weeks:

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting – April 29th: The Company announces today that its Directors propose to cancel the listing on the Official List and the trading on the London Stock Exchange of the 2009 Shares and the 2012 Shares and are convening Extraordinary General Meetings for the 2009 Shareholders, the 2012 Shareholders and Shareholders as a whole to consider and, if thought fit, approve such proposals. Read full notice here.

Results of Extraordinary General Meeting – May 12th: The Company is pleased to announce that each resolution was duly passed without amendment at the extraordinary general meeting of the holders of the 2009 Shares, the extraordinary general meeting of the holders of the 2012 Shares and the extraordinary general meeting of all shareholders, each extraordinary general meeting being held on 12 May 2020.

Therefore, the Board confirm that the 2009 Cell shareholders and the 2012 Cell shareholders have resolved to confirm approval for the Directors to apply for cancellation of the listing of shares in both respective protected cells, to the premium segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange plc’s Main Market for listed securities. Read the full notice here.

BECAP12 update: Fund II’s other investee company, Everest Limited, continues to encounter difficulties caused by COVID-19.  It is energetically progressing its strategic options with a view to protecting its ongoing business and employees. Read the full notice here.

Shares were due to be delisted by June 10th. It is the last update that perhaps is the most interesting. That was an extract taken from an update more focused on one of it’s other assets in the fund. This was tagged on at the end of that one. But the phrase “energetically progressing its strategic options” is the most telling. Remember the MASCO sale of the UK Window Group last year? They used very similar language in their news updates. MASCO then sold the UK Window Group.

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Immediate change to business

This is another major signal of how fast the landscape of our sector has changed. Pre-COVID the idea of door canvassing and long home sits were normal. Not suitable for 2020 by any means, but both continued to be used by a range of companies to generate leads and revenue. Both of those options are impossible and will likely never see a return. For the long term good of the industry that’s a good thing.

However, it creates a problem for any fenestration business that has relied on door-knocking and selling in the home on the first visit. For now, we’re all being encouraged to do as much of the sales process remotely and online. That means minimal time with the homeowner in their home. This will be fine for those who recognised that the future lies with tech and a modern, relaxed approach to the sales process. Those reliant on the drop-close and protracted negotiations in the home are going to have to pivot to new methods almost overnight. Something which is going to be very difficult to do.

Some of the adaptations our industry is going to have to implement to try to find a way to work around COVID-19 until a vaccine is found is going to permanently change many of the things we all do. You do something for long enough, it sticks. So the digital solutions we’re all going to be putting into place now will be the new normal for here on in.

There will be more to this developing story to come in the days and weeks ahead I am sure, as we all attempt to find a new path to tread.

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