Better Capital acquires Calyx debts, calls in the administrators

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Better Capital acquires Calyx debts, calls in the administrators

Microscope contributor

Private equity firm Better Capital has acquired the bank debts for Calyx Group from Anglo Irish Bank and placed the services-based networking reseller into administration.

This is the second time that John Moulton, chairman at Better Capital has invested in Calyx; he backed a management buy-out led by then CEO Maurice Healy in 2007 as managing director at venture capitalist Alchemy Partners.

Moulton - who started Better Capital late last year less than two months after quitting Alchemy - confirmed to MicroScope that he had bought Calyx's debts but was unable to discuss the financial details.

"The company [Calyx] is in administration so clearly things need to be resolved rapidly and one hopes that things will be resolved in the course of the next week or so," he said.

By the end of next week Better Capital will likely emerge as the owner of the group following a debt for equity swap deal.

It is understood that Better Capital has forked out between £10m to £12m for the bank debt, which is significantly less than the face value, believed to be circa £100m.

Calyx employs some 500 staff in 10 premises situated throughout England and the Republic of Ireland and offers managed, application, comms and security services.

In a channel exclusive, MicroScope last month reported that Calyx management had been exploring the options to cut the firm's unsustainable debts with several possibilities on the table.

The administration, being handled by London-based FRP, effectively ends chairman Healy's interest in Calyx; he performed a second MBO in the summer of 2007 - his first was in 2002 - and at the time Alchemy invested €12m to take a 59.2% in the firm.

But roughly a year and a half later in October 2008, Healy paid Alchemy just €500,000 for its majority stake in the company.

A deal with Better Capital would reunite Moulton with Calyx chief executive Tara Brady, who he appointed in 2008 and means that both may get to finish the work they started.

FRP and Calyx were unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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