Azzurri taken off the market

Azzurri taken off the market

Managed comms provider Azzurri Communications’ shareholders have voted against an immediate sale of the company, Mobile understands.

The news comes as Azzurri announced two major contract wins to provide unified comms for advertising company Clear Channel and a £900,000 deal to deliver managed telecoms and IT services for City & Guilds.

The decision not to sell the company was made at a recent extraordinary general meeting (EGM), where shareholders – a consortium of seven banks led by Lloyds – voted on three choices: an immediate sale, a deferred sale or to carry on trading. A source said that the shareholders voted for Azzurri to carry on trading but that ‘the decision will be reviewed again in 2014, as a matter of course.’ He added: ‘It was decided [the consortium’s] interests were better served on a medium- to long-term business plan to develop the business.’

Azzurri sealed a refinancing deal with the banking consortium in December last year after running up debts of around £100m following an aggressive buy and build strategy that saw it make 16 acquisitions over eight years.

The deal saw private equity investor Silverfleet Capital, which bought Azzurri Communications in June 2006 for £182.5m, sell its 65% stake to the banking consortium.

Azzurri CEO Mark Quartermaine resigned shortly after the deal was struck and was replaced by Vim Vithaldas.

Azzurri Communications declined to discuss the outcome of the EGM. In a statement, Vithaldas (pictured) said: ‘Having now been in the business for two months, my view is that Azzurri has excellent growth prospects and is very well placed in the market. We are also as well funded as we ever have been following the recent refinancing… [which] has given us a very solid platform for growth.’

Carol Millett

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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