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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 19:03 GMT
Why firms bother to restructure
Investors need to have faith in company management
Few businesses crash and burn without putting up a fight first. BBC News Online asks why companies restructure and examines some of the potential benefits and pitfalls.

Restructuring is a catch-all term, used by companies in trouble who need to change or risk losing business as well as successful ones who want to keep their edge.

Many try to turn the business around by cutting jobs, buying companies, selling off or closing unprofitable divisions or even splitting the company up.

Usually, what prompts companies to restructure is a falling share price or a share price that they feel does not fully reflect the company's value, says Shaun O Callaghan, a partner with KPMG's restructuring group.

Splitting the company up may help investors get a clearer picture of all the potential revenue streams.

But many companies are constantly restructuring, even when business is good, so they can stay ahead of the game.

And, according to Mr O Callaghan, those companies often end up shaping the market in which they operate.

Doing it well

Knowing that a company needs to restructure is only the first step.

Even if the company has the right strategy in place for change, unless it can convince investors it is capable of changing, its share price will remain weak.

One danger is that investors will have faith in what the company is doing, but no faith in the management's ability to do it. And that can lead to a boss being ousted.

"Lots of companies are good at knowing what it is that they need to do, but typically companies are less successful in doing it the right way," says Mr O Callaghan.

See also:

29 Oct 99 | Fact Files
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