Friday 28th January, 8.30am, Titanic Room: Young Thruster pleads for ideas. His dad is in debt doo doo.
The old rogue owns about 50 tyre and exhaust replacement centres in shabby corners of the South East. GBH has been valuing them for decades. They are worth about £100m – in good times. In bad times, dad tends to bully us into upping the values to prevent him breaching his lending covenants.
But that’s fine, our fees are never chipped, we keep the mandate – and Young Thruster employed. The arrangements are implicit, understood.
Until now. Some stupid report says valuers must be ‘rotated’. Young Thruster is agitated: “NatWest has taken the idea seriously and wants dad to junk GBH for Colliers. He is going batty. Our LTV covenants are within 3% of breaching. We are £60m in the red. NatWest is insisting on a complete reappraisal. What to do?”
A long silence follows. I look at Charlie Boy, who shrugs. Posh Girl, Sporty Girl and Posh Boy all raise open palms. Out of the mouths of babes – well, Geek Boy – comes the answer.
“Surely our capital markets team can arrange a refinancing with that bank we are close to in Liberia? Cost your dad a few more basis points. But worth it all round, eh?”