Ousted Bubs execs launch advisory firm TAKE Global

Ousted Bubs execs launch advisory firm TAKE Global

TAKE Global founders Dennis Lin (left) and Kristy Carr (right).

As the former CEO and chair respectively of Bubs Australia (ASX: BUB), Kristy Carr and Dennis Lin are part of a group of dissident shareholders aiming to overthrow the current board and install new leadership, but a new venture launched this week shows they're more interested in advisory than acrimony. 

After leaving the milk formula company the pair have founded TAKE Global, a boutique strategic advisory and project management firm with a heavy focus on the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), food and agribusiness, and decarbonisation sectors.

The company's name comes from the Japanese word for 'bamboo', a plant with a metaphorical meaning for what Carr aims to achieve for clients.

"You plant it in the ground and it takes years to go from a seed to just coming above the soil to a seedling, and then very, very quickly in months it shoots up and becomes tall and is very resilient despite the storm and wind," she tells Business News Australia

"That’s reflective of a lot of businesses that have done some really hard foundation years to get to their little seedling, and then we want to be able to partner with them to expedite the growth."

Lin explains the genesis of the new firm was from businesspeople they had both worked with over the years approaching them for help once their time freed up, and there are already three clients on the books.

"We’re working with two consumer goods companies in the healthcare sectors – both of them are looking at an overall corporate strategy wanting to expand into the US and also China markets. They are not startups, they’ve been in business quite some time, and they’re looking for that next level of scale-up," he says.

"We also have another client in the recycling space which is currently in the process of building quite a few facilities and turning waste into something quite useful in Australia and in other parts of the world."

Lin says he wants to draw on his and Carr's complementary skillsets to give entrepreneurs and founders a helping hand through 'decent and to-the-point advice'. 

"Having seen quite a few entrepreneurs, Kristy is a very special one and I wanted her to be able to apply all the knowledge and positivity forward, rather than think about the abrupt departure and what’s happened," he says.

"Right now there's a global trend against founders, I don’t know why. Some of them have been in it for two years-plus since an incident, and they've taken their breaks but still haven’t quite moved on.

"For us, we thought rather than taking a long break and thinking about what’s happened and trying to forget it, why don't we actually just remember all the good bits by sharing that and all the positives with people that could actually do with some help?"

Carr says she really enjoys working with Lin and both share a very international lens when looking at opportunities for businesses.

"We really wanted to continue to do what we love, and that's working with brands and businesses that want to go to their next phase of growth," she says.

"A lot of it does sit with the brand and the retail end of the spectrum, but at the same time combining the capital side, because so many businesses are limited by growth because of their capital strategy.

"It’s quite a unique skill set as you grow a business from literally what was around $5 million turnover at IPO (initial public offering) to where we ended up over $100 million last year, because within that you’ve grown your team as well, from five to 80-plus people."

Lin previously practiced mergers and acquisitions as a lawyer with Mallesons, and was a partner at BDO for more than a decade as an accountant with a strong focus on China advisory services. While still at BDO, he became part of the Bubs IPO team in 2016. With Carr, he helped guide the company through mergers, acquisitions, divestments and capital raises.

"Sometimes we were raising for cash, sometimes we were raising more for strategic placement," says Carr.

"We did quite a lot of joint ventures - strategic partnerships were a big part of some of our most successful growth milestones.

"Being able to have the understanding of the supply chain from an Australian home ground but then being able to export and move through to what became Exporter of the Year last year, there’s a lot of intel, there’s a lot of relationships there. But you’re just one step ahead of companies for whom that’s what they're about to do, whether they're wanting to list or whether they've listed but wanting to get to the next stage out of nano to microcaps and so forth."

Lin adds that Carr has gone through many professional changes over the years but has still managed to stay true to herself.

"Kristy was a marketer by background, and then founded Bubs as an entrepreneur, and then went through the journey of getting investment and becoming listed, but then transitioning into an MD and CEO in the public domain, and then now having exited," he says.

"For me, I’m just so glad she’s still her. She's truly maintained her values throughout, and I think that is something that is invaluable to share with the business owners and founders along the way."

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