Wace was a high profile plc in the printing sector which:
- grew rapidly by acquisition in the late 1980s 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.