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MBO within reach: Alstom

MBO within reach: Alstom

The management of distributor, Alstom Information Technology, is putting the finishing touches on a buyout bid that will see local management take over the company from its French energy and transport parent company on February 27.

Alstom IT CEO, Laurie Sellers, said the company — currently operating as Alstom Australia — would trade as the new registered company, Alstom Information Technology Limited, as of March 1.

The company has secured working capital financing from the Commonwealth Bank. A third-party audit was conducted — examining processes and procedures — and it was determined the company had good standing, he said.

“Because we were part of a large multinational, we had detailed reporting,” Sellers said.

With financing in place, the company then knocked on vendors doors.

“After the bank approved, we spoke to vendors to have them check us out for credit worthiness,” he said.

The buyout process, which began about 12 months ago, had been intense, he said.

“We’ll be glad to get this all behind us — to get our time back again and to focus on developing the business,” Sellers said. The proposal was pitched to the parent company last year in the wake of a global restructuring.

The MBO team involved Sellers, Alstom IT general manager, Greg Newham, operations manager, Ken Harper, and finance manager, Katie Kenny.

“There’s been a lot of things involved — more than you think,” Sellers said. “You can run a business for 10 years and still don’t have a full awareness of every facet of the business.”

The nitty gritty included working through a broker to put in place comparable insurance policies to those held Alstom Australia. The company is also meeting with staff — there are about 85 employees in Australia – to discuss superannuation (via Colonial Life).

Asked whether there were any changes on the horizon, Sellers said it was business as usual. Alstom would maintain the same management team, vendors, customers, as well as back-end IT and office processes.

“All businesses have to change, but we don’t have any specific plans at the moment,” he said. “We are looking at ways to improve the overall business.”


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