Cashflow woes behind Nosh shake-up

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 10:44 30/07/2013

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Nosh co-founder and former chief executive Clinton Beuvink says the time was right to step away from the boutique grocery business.

Beuvink resigned last Friday as chief executive - a role that has been taken over by Nosh chief financial officer Hayden Syers.

"I'm incredibly proud of Nosh and what it's achieved," Beuvink said.

The grocery chain was in a good position to go ahead, with three more stores scheduled to open in the next year, he said.

Nosh had undergone rapid growth, opening eight stores in the North Island in seven years, with two owned by franchisees, Beuvink said.

"It's a very capital-intensive game," he said.

Nosh public relations consultant Deborah Pead said the company's growth had led to cashflow problems.

Auckland-based Syers joined the company in March, putting together a new governance structure, and he brought in much-needed capital through his father-in-law, Paul Lucas.

Companies Office records show that Lucas and Syers are the only directors of Nosh Management Ltd. Lucas owns nearly 85 per cent of the company's shares.

Syers is a former chief operating officer at bullion company NZ Mint.

Beuvink would not say how much Lucas had invested in the company.

Pead said Beuvink had sold his shares in the company, there had been a dilution of shares from existing shareholders and new shares had been created.

Beuvink's company, CKM & CLB Venture Ltd, still holds nearly 4 per cent of shares in Nosh Management.

A new governance structure and new equity meant the company was well positioned to expand, Beuvink said.

He was looking forward to taking a break before getting back as an entrepreneurial chief executive, and he would take the lessons he learnt from building Nosh into his next business venture.

"I had an absolutely fabulous time building something from nothing," he said.

He said he was focusing on Global Brand Management, a company he started with his wife, Lisa, in 1999.

Syers said it was "business as usual" at Nosh.

Syers and Lucas would not comment further on the management changes or the future of the company at the moment.

Pead said the company was not in trouble and there would be no further management changes.

Nosh was founded seven years ago by Beuvink and Chris Moore.

Moore left the company in 2011 and, according to the Companies Office, still has a minority shareholding.

In late 2011, the company was looking to franchise new stores to raise capital to fund 20 new stores in the North Island before 2016.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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