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A decade ago Distribution & Warehousing Network (Dawn) was a darling of the market which had ramped its share price up from 50c in October 2002 to more than R14 just five years later. Then things began going wrong for the building materials and infrastructure products wholesale distributor and manufacturer. "When I came into Dawn it was in dire straits," says Stephen Connelly. CEO of the highly successful Hudaco for 22 years, Connelly stepped in as Dawn’s interim CEO in June 2016 following the departure of founder Derek Tod. Since the appointment of Edwin Hewitt as permanent CEO in April, Connelly has been executive deputy chairman, a role he will relinquish at the end of the year. Connelly and Hewitt have pulled out all the stops to stabilise Dawn. But it was touch and go. "Dawn was in serious financial difficulty," says Hewitt. "It had breached its debt covenant with its bankers and was experiencing cash flow problems that made it difficult to pay its creditors timeously."Connelly...

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