Morris Moses, partner at administrative receiver Levy Gee, said the sale was done “on a deferred basis with a portion of the contracts Apex retain” going to creditors, including IBM Global Services, Ciscom’s major creditor.
Apex technical sales director Garry Cleaver said the last minute deal had brought Apex over 150 contracts, worth in excess of £1m.
He admitted that being a partner with Ciscom’s major creditor had worked in Apex’s favour. “Once the outright sale to Landis fell through, Apex was invited to get involved with negotiations with the receivers because IBM Global Finance knew we are a Cisco partner,” he argued.
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Apex plans to use the acquisition to strengthen its support services base and exploit the growing relationship between Cisco and IBM, according to managing director Nick King.
Ironically, labour laws designed to protect workers in company takeovers contributed to the failure to achieve an outright sale of Ciscom, which would have secured jobs or redundancy payouts for the staff.
Landis had been interested in buying Ciscom outright (see MicroScope, 6 February) but the deal had fallen through because of the potential liability for Ciscom staff, said Landis managing director Mike Watkins.
Landis hired ten former Ciscom staff but would have had to accept liability for all employees had it purchased the maintenance contracts after having been in negotiation for the whole business.