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Azzurri appoints new CEO after refinancing

Mobile News
December 16, 2011

Vim Vithaldas replaces Mark Quartermaine, who leaves having secured equity-for-debt swap and lower interest on bank facility

Azzurri has appointed former Datapoint CEO Vim Vithaldas (pictured inset) as its new CEO after completing a debt refinancing that removes £238 million in liabilities from its balance sheet.

Vathaldas replaces Mark Quartermaine (main picture), who took over the top role at Azzurri just 15 months ago.

The firm has also installed a new chairman, Keith Taylor, who replaces Jim McKenna.

Nigel Guy will also join the Azzurri board as a non-executive director, while Kay Ashton, Stephen Day and former Azzurri boss Martin St Quinto will all step down as non-executive directors.

The refinancing converts £238 million of Azzurri’s debt into equity for seven creditor banks.

The deal means that the stake held in Azzurri by private equity firm Silverfleet Capital has been reduced.

Azzurri has also negotiated to reduce interest on its £97 million bank debt facility, which has been extended until January 2014.

Vithaldas said that the refinancing meant that Azzurri would now be able to retain far more of its profits, which in its last reported financial year were more than £11 million, and provide stability for the next two and a half years.

“Cash outflow the business has had in the past will not be at the same level any more, so we can hang on to a significant proportion of the profits ourselves,” he said.

Vithaldas said that Quartermaine and McKenna had helped set Azzuri on the right path through the refinancing, and he does not expect to make any major changes to the way the firm is run in the near future.

“I can’t imaging there will be any radical changes,” he said.

“Basically it is just providing a steady hand and looking for sustainable growth.”



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