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Getronics confirms – finally – that CEO has quit following HMRC VAT payment debacle

Ailing services integrator pulls in more cash from backers to pay off debts, rebrands US MSP arm

Cash-strapped IT services integrator Getronics has finally confirmed its split with group CEO Nana Baffour and is getting an injection of capital following its cash-flow issues.

In September, privately owned Getronics was issued with a winding-up petition by HMRC over unpaid VAT, something Baffour admitted to us was a highly embarrassing episode for the organisation.

He blamed operational issues on process changes amid the integration of acquisitions: private equity biz Bottega InvestCo snaffled Getronics for €220m in 2017, subsequently buying US MSP Pomeroy and ITS Overlap in France in 2018.

Several insiders told us in late October that Getronics had informed staff verbally that Baffour and Frank Asante-Kissi, head of global administration, were to leave the business. Baffour refused at the time to comment on this.

One claimed Getronics backer Canada Pension Plan Investment Board had called for senior personnel changes in the wake of the apparent financial mess, with credit insurance restricted, and suppliers, contractors and permanent EMEA staff salaries not being paid on time – the latter happened at the end of last month, according to documents we've seen.

Today, Getronics issued a statement to confirm Baffour and Asante-Kissi have "stepped down". No further mention was made of the pair.

The North America MSP side of Getronics will reassume the Pomeroy brand, in what might be perceived as the first step to prepare the operation for sale, and Chris Froman has been named as president and CEO. He had been CEO at Pomeroy from 2009 until 2017 and then exec chairman until 2018.

Sam Humphreys, a member of Getronics' board of directors, said:

Following a comprehensive review of the company and its prospects, the board… determined that recapitalising the business with a new investment and a reduction of debt will better position the company to deliver long-term value. The investment from our existing stakeholders signals confidence in the future of our company and the value we deliver for customers.

The size of investment was not confirmed but sources told us it is around £15m, though that hardly seems sufficient for a business that has said it turned over €1.3bn in its last financial year.

The existing management team will oversee operations internationally outside of North America under the Getronics brand, the company said.

Baffour told us today he had no comment. ®

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