SenGroup buys Future Technologies

SenGroup buys Future Technologies

Less than a month after it was put in the hands of an administrator, Future Technologies has been purchased by the SenGroup for an undisclosed figure.

SenGroup's chief executive, Jonathan Fisk, says Future Technology will continue to operate as a separate company, and will retain the majority of its 40-person staff. "Overall, Future Technologies is and, to a large degree, always has been a very good business with a great reputation. It had some financial issues in recent times that we hope we can overcome easily, and leave us with a good, healthy business."

Fisk says no radical changes are planned. "I would hope the only things customers will notice will be improvements. Our intention is not to fundamentally change the business," he said.

Future Tech will join SenGroup's two other operations, systems integrator Senteq Information Systems and groupware solution provider Sentor Communications. Fisk says there is excellent synergy between the companies. As each attracts a different client base, the three companies will be able to provide a broad range of services. Fisk says prior to the purchase, SenGroup was looking at ways to expand the business, and that it was fortuitous for them that Future Technologies was for sale.

Future Tech was placed in the hands of an administrator by Compaq on April 29, following ongoing financial difficulties. According to Compaq managing director Ian Penman, the company is very positive about the sale, having been supportive of Future Technologies all through the process.

Penman says Compaq looked for a number of things when negotiating the sale. "The first thing we were looking for was that the customers would be looked after, because we've got a number of very good customers who've been very loyal to Future Technologies all along. The second thing we wanted to do was to have a really solid cultural match between the two organisations." Penman says he was also very keen to see that Future Tech's staff was looked after.

In total 23 offers for Future Tech were received, of which six were serious in their intent to purchase the company, Penman said. This figure was boiled down to three before the final selection was made. While the sale did not yield a full return to the unsecured creditors, everyone got a return of at least 30 cents in the dollar, Penman said.

Penman adds that although Compaq was the largest creditor, it chose not to exercise its power as a secured creditor to recoup its entire debt. "Most of the people who were creditors were our friends, such as the Com Techs and the Microsofts. We're in this for the long haul - we don't want to make any rapacious claims. We let everybody know that it was time to reduce their risk, which they did, and I think that's the right way to do it," he said.

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