Xpolite in discussions to sell Anix

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Xpolite in discussions to sell Anix

Paul Kunert

Xploite is locked in negotiations with a third party over the potential sale of managed storage services business Anix, which represents over 90% of the group's revenues.

The firm acquired IBM storage specialist Anix Group in March 2007 for £4.35m, a month after it forked out £4.6m for Posetiv, and later that year went onto to buy Red Squared. The businesses were integrated and traded under the Anix brand.

The only acquisition Xploite made in 2008 came last November when it took on board Blue River Systems.

However the firm may have stopped short of its original objective to become a £100m managed services powerhouse in the mid-market following a statement made to the City today.

"Xploite notes the recent market speculation and confirms that it is currently in discussions regarding the possible sales of Anix Group Limited," it stated.

"There can be no guarantee that these discussions will conclude in the sale of Anix. A further announcement will be released in due course," the statement added.

Serial entrepreneur and Xploite chief executive Ian Smith has a track record of acquiring and bolting businesses together in the networking market but turned his attention to storage resellers and service providers in 2007.

At the time, he told MicroScope the grand plan was to carve a niche in the storage services market and through acquisitions and organic growth wanted to become a £100m organisation.

In the year to 31 October 2008, Xploite revenues grew 60% to £46.3m and made a profit of £1.54m, including a loss of £336,000 from continuing operations and a £1.9m profit from discontinued operations.

Finance costs spiralled however as the £220,000 gain it made from cash in the bank in 2007 turned into a £641,000 loss after it paid out £866,000 to service the debt amassed through acquisitions.

Sources in the channel believe that Smith and co-investors will use the money from a sale of Anix - whether to the current suitors or other interested parties - to pay back shareholders and fund other investments.

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