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FutureLink seeks buyer for UK arm

Boyd Webb
A management buy-out could be on the cards for the European arm of the embattled US company FutureLink.

The ASP filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US last week. "The only problem we have is the name association with our parent company," said Yuri Pasea, FutureLink's European managing director.

He stated the UK and Canadian offices, both excused from the protection act, were self-funding entities. "We are a very solvent business. I can't tell you much now, but you can hear the optimism in my voice," Pasea said.

Industry watchers also appeared to be optimistic. Senior analyst at Bloor Research, Tony Lock, said the news had been a surprise because it was expecting a sale before the announcement of the chapter 11 filing.

"There have been a couple of potential buyers for the UK arm lurking on the sidelines over the past few weeks, but nothing seems to have happened."

But Lock agreed the UK business was in a strong position: "It has a few options because of its large number of ASP customers. Its distribution and ASP sections are doing well and could be sold separately if it came to that."

An infant ASP market has been blamed for the US collapse, which Lock believed was not mirrored in the UK or Canada. "It was a while before ASP came to our shores and as a result it has found a more mature market," he said.

In March, FutureLink reported fourth quarter net losses of $205.1m (£141.9m) on revenues on $34.1m.

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