The board of AIT Group has received a refinancing proposal from a group of investors led by Richard Hicks, a non executive director and the founder and former chairman of the company, which would provide immediate interim loan finance in exchange for a future share sale.
Under the proposal, this core investor group intends to inject at least £8.5 million of new equity finance into the company, on the basis that a further amount of approximately £11 million will be raised through a rights issue underwritten by Old Mutual Securities.
The board anticipates that this fundraising would raise approximately £19.5 million, before expenses, and that this, coupled with the outline agreement in principle reached with its clearing banker, would be sufficient to secure AIT’s medium and long-term future and preserve its position as an independent company.
AIT, a supplier of customer relationship management software to banks, has been looking for a buyer after over-stating profits and revenues and running into subsequent liquidity difficulties. The company says it has met with a number of interested parties but "no offers have been received that warrant further consideration".
The immediate interim loan finance will be provided by a combination of Bessemer Venture Partners - a US technology-oriented venture capital firm - several local private investors and Richard Hicks, who has been appointed executive chairman. As part of the proposal, the interim loan finance provided by the core investor group would either be repaid and replaced with equity or converted into equity following shareholder approval of the proposal.
The refinancing proposal and the outline agreement with AIT’s clearing bank are subject to the parties signing off the agreement.
Trading in AIT shares has been suspended while the company looks for a buyer. The company says it will relist on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange so as to take advantage of tax breaks for investors.