SOME good news may come out of the financial troubles of Australian telephony company Tennyson Networks, with the possibility of its New Zealand subsidiary Datareach being sold as a going concern.
Liquidators earlier this year told Reseller News that a US company was interested in buying the Napier-based subsidiary but there had not been a concrete offer. However, an unnamed source close to Datareach told Reseller News on Monday that “the situation has changed. It could be running again, is all I can say.”
The source says interested parties — including former owner and Swedish giant Ericsson — met last Friday in Napier.
Ericsson spokesperson Alison Crosbie declined to comment on such “negotiations” and would not be drawn on a possible clause in the sales agreement that said Datareach had to be sold to a buyer that was solvent for at least six months. Ericsson sold Datareach to Tennyson in August and in October Tennyson went into voluntary administration, drying up Datareach’s working capital and putting the Napier firm into liquidation.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers Wellington liquidator Gary Traveller backs-up the source’s comments about Datareach’s future.
“The American buyer is still hovering about. Things are pretty positive.” But he would not put a date on a likely outcome. Traveller would not comment on Ericsson’s involvement.
The source says the news is good for Datareach’s 25 staff, who have worked without pay for five months until March, at which time they had received “a gloomy picture”.
Reseller News learnt of Datareach’s possible change in fortune on the same day (March 29) that Tennyson shareholders were due in Perth to vote on a bid to salvage the company. A spokesperson from administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers said Ascent Capital’s “capital restructuring” deed of company arrangement was a likely winner over initial suitor Neoside’s subscription offer because Neoside had not delivered any funds by set dates, as reported in Reseller News on March 5.
Meanwhile, Simon Hepburn, director for Sox New Zealand, which distributes Tennyson’s Sox products, says a vote in favour of Ascent would please him. “We’re pleased in a lot of ways. It certainly gets Tennyson re-listed on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange). It frees up a lot of the restraints that are there from the administrators. It frees up stock [and] our main run of supply.”
Hepburn says he has plans for the Sox products that he cannot divulge yet.