ALSTOM IT MBO complete [updated]

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Five senior executives at ALSTOM IT have completed a management buyout of the global transport and energy company's local IT distribution operation.

Five senior executives at ALSTOM IT have completed a management buyout of the global transport and energy company's local IT distribution operation.

ALSTOM IT chairman Dinshaw Katrak, company MD Laurie Sellers, GM of distribution Greg Newham, finance GM Catie Kenny and operations manager Ken Harper purchased the company from ALSTOM.

Late last year, ALSTOM IT's former mother company was restructuring its business around the globe. Other ALSTOM businesses in Australia were also reorganising and aligning with their respective sectors in Europe, ALSTOM's Sellers said at the time. Sellers is the latest shareholder in the business with a 25 percent share.

Speaking to CRN, Sellers said ALSTOM were accommodating about the sale and didn't put pressure on the timing of the MBO.

"We had to make sure that we did everything properly, especially [moving] all the agreements that we had with the suppliers across and setup our own superannuation funds and replace all the insurance policies we had."
The buyout was completed on 7 October.

Sellers said that on a day-to-day basis, the MBO won't make too much of a difference to the distributor. "But I think that inevitably, it will engender a different mental attitude particularly from the senior managers in terms of the realisation creeps over you and you say 'well we own this thing now, what can we do with it?'

"It will naturally cause people to come up with inventive ideas because they will want to see the business blossom and grow. Also, whilst we were never really constrained by ALSTOM, we had to fit into a mould with the group is this is going to give us a lot more flexibility to do some of the things that we'd like to do," he said.

Some of these plans centred around potential acquisitions, Sellers said. "We've had opportunities in the last year or two to make acquisitions. We looked at them, I thought they were attractive and fitted in with the business but for one reason or another, ALSTOM didn't want to do it.

"If the opportunities arise again, we will look at them in a different light now," he said.

Sellers said he was proud of the fact that one of the leading IT distributors in this country is now a wholly owned Australian company.

"We've actually turned a French company into an Australian company which is not a bad thing to do. I'm also really pleased that because we have taken our time and done it carefully and we have communicated well with everybody, we've not lost a single vendor and we have not lost a single staff member," he said.

"There's a general buzz about it I think and a feeling of relief that it's actually through," he said.

The news follows competing distributor Tech Pacific selling to US-based distributor Ingram Incorporated recently.

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