Waratah twist: Ex CFO takes charge of Brand Services

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In the latest twist in the Waratah collapse, its former CFO Steve Lewis this week became the sole director and the secretary of the Waratah Brand Services operation, and the business will now not be going to Finsbury Green as part of the Waratah deal.

Sole director: former Waratah CFO Steve Lewis
Sole director: former Waratah CFO Steve Lewis

The company says a mystery private financier is now buying Waratah Brand Services for an undisclosed sum instead. It says it received several offers to buy it.

Lewis was appointed sole director of the company on Monday, the same day that Abdel Aziz Aboughattas (Abbi) resigned as director. Lewis became secretary on the same day, again replacing Aboughattas in the role. Abbi and his brother Moody were the majority shareholders in Waratah.

Lewis parted ways with the Waratah Group around six weeks ago. He joined Waratah from On Demand five years ago, where he was in a similar role when it collapsed and Waratah bought it. Waratah Brand Services was originally Waivestar, and rebranded two years ago.

Finsbury picked up most of the collapsed Waratah Group, including Embassy Print, in a prepackaged deal which included the Waratah client list, a sizeable number of the staff, some of the equipment, and most of its operating businesses. Former Waratah CEO Brett Chalmers has joined Finsbury, along with several senior managers.

Mystery backer: Elise Stevenson will be the general manager of Brand Services.
Mystery backer: Elise Stevenson will be the general manager of Brand Services.

However the marketing services business is now going to operate independently. It will be rebranded as Brand Services, with former account manager Elise Stevenson as general manager. It is unclear if Brand Services will print itself or outsource. It provides a whole range of marketing collateral, from brochures and signs through mugs, caps, and the like.

Stevenson has been in the general manager role for four months, and with the company for almost five years. She said, “The intense interest showcases the strong demand for our brand and service offering. Our diverse portfolio of high-profile clients and long-term relationships was a key consideration for investors.

“We are excited by this new chapter of our business as we are poised for further growth and expansion. However, it will remain business as usual for our current stable of valued clients.”

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