The troubled service provider UK Plc has failed to get equity financing by turnaround venture capital group IMF Ventures after a turbulent couple of trading years has left them distressed and seeking bail-out.
After years of growth and robust trading, the country’s leading low cost provider of consumer services saw a reversal in its fortunes during the 2008 banking crisis and subsequent recession. “We are heavily dependent upon general trading conditions in the UK and our commitments to existing customers has left us deeply committed whilst our revenues have fallen short of plan. In addition, a disastrous series of speculative investments in the financial sector has left us exposed to cash shortfalls. We are disappointed that IMF Ventures has decided that we do not fit their investment criteria.” Commented Alastair Darling, CFO of UK Plc.
IMF Ventures, the well-known turnaround investor, has commented: “we cannot invest against a business plan that does not see the company reach break-even within 3-5 years. It is not apparent that there is any commitment from the management that they will cut costs and increase prices to trade their way out of their current situation. We also have concerns about potential exits after the company made it clear that they would be unwilling to merge with other similar service companies in our portfolio such as Iceland, Greece and Argentina. “
Speculation of a break-up of this sprawling conglomerate has suggested that UK Plc will be forced to divest or close their loss making Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales businesses. Eire, which spun out during a controversial Buy-In Management Buy-Out in 1916 has indicated that it would be willing to make an offer for Northern Ireland, but has itself admitted to trading difficulties and has made clear that any such acquisition would include large scale redundancies to be able to fit it with its existing business. A Union spokesman from Northern Ireland, Iain Paisley, has said “No, No and No again”.
Although UK Plc successfully fought off aggressive take-over bids by Germany AG in 1914 and 1939, it is believed by the market that a takeover is now more likely than ever. “The management don’t like to admit it, but the reality is that they only just paid back the crippling loans from defending the last takeover bid by Germany AG whilst the prospective acquirer itself went on to dramatic growth and success.” Commented an unnamed industry analyst.