2e2 appoints broker to seek buyer for Morse units

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2e2 appoints broker to seek buyer for Morse units

Microscope contributor

2e2 is testing the waters ahead of a possible sale of its businesses in Ireland and Spain, which it inherited during last year's Morse acquisition.

According to channel insiders, regional brokerage and investment banker Stifel Financial was appointed recently to spearhead the divestment activity and bids have already been invited.

"The businesses are in a formal process to be sold," said a source.

"In reality 2e2 does not have a strategy to operate in Europe so anything outside of the UK is likely to be sold," he claimed.

The sale of the Irish and Spanish businesses are codenamed 'Project Inca' and 'Project Emperor' respectively.

The Irish operation makes EBIT of £750,000 on revenues of £25m, while Spain turns over £50m with an EBIT of £1m to £2m, according to documents sent to prospective suitors.

A spokesman at 2e2 scotched industry talk that it is selling the units to pay down its £150m debt, which he said was three times the projected EBITDA of £50m for fiscal 2011 and "well within the industry norms".

"As a continual process, we are looking at the shape of operations, whether we have gaps we need to fill or units we need to reconfigure.

"As part of that, from time to time we test the market and peoples' appetite or interest in some aspects of the business," he told MicroScope.

Stifel Financial refused to comment.

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