11/5/2009 12:22:00 PM
Fone Logistics eyes new acquisitions following its restructure
Fone Logistics is considering possible acquisitions following the restructure it announced last week (30 October).
The restructuring sees Fone Logistics transferred into a new company, with CEO Ian Gillespie taking a greater role in the day to day running of the business.
Financial director Michael Fitzpatrick told Mobile: ‘We are independently funded and independently managed, and we have a lot of experience from the Dextra deal. When the time is appropriate, we will look to be a leader in consolidating the market. We want to be proactive in this process.’
He added: ‘We are keen to consider ourselves an acquirer rather than a target.’
Fitzpatrick said the distributor’s move into a new company is a result of Gillespie buying out Link Telecom’s Gary Fawcett and Link Telecom founder Mike Bower’s shareholdings two years ago. Both investors bought a major stake in the company as part of a management buy-in, in 2006.
Fitzpatrick added: ‘This is nothing more than housekeeping. We are tidying up an infrastructure that was put in place when the management buy-in happened three years ago. This move puts back a simpler structure and reaffirms Ian Gillespie’s commitment to the business as the sole shareholder.’
Fitzpatrick dismissed industry speculation that the move is similar to JAG’s prepack administration deal earlier in 2009.
He said: ‘Absolutely not. We have nothing to hide. This is not a Phoenix move. All of the assets, all of the liabilities, all of the debt will be carried over to the new company. This is just about tidying up the structure. Our customers and suppliers are fully behind us on this.’
Fone Logistics was quick to reassure its employees, dealers, suppliers and customers this week. In a Q&A sheet sent out, the firm stated that all terms and conditions remained the same and that it was ‘business as usual’.
The document added: ‘If anything, as a result of this transaction, our purchasing ability will be enhanced through the removal of the legacy negative balance sheet information.’