Irish security technology company Baltimore Technologies has appointed JPMorgan to manage a short sharp sale process, with a view to seeking binding offers for the company by 30 June.
Baltimore Technologies, which offers PKI-based security systems to some of the world's leading banks, in March reported a halving in revenues to £35 million for the year-ending December 2002. The struggling company, which fired two-thirds of its workforce during the 2002 fiscal year, narrowed net losses to £64.7 million, compared with £652.8 million the previous year.
Peter Morgan, Baltimore chairman, says that a controlled and short sale process should best protect the interests of shareholders, customers and employees.
The company says that loss before interest, tax and amortisation for the four months ended 30 April 2003 is broadly in line with management's expectations. Revenues for the second quarter are currently anticipated to be better than in the first quarter.
The former dot com darling had a cash balance of £15.6 million at 30 April, not including £2-3 million due in the next 6 months from earlier divestments, and is reporting a cash burn level at its lowest rate since end 2000.
Bijan Khezri, Baltimore chief executive officer, says: "We have identified promising growth initiatives such as the broadening of our access to market for network security and the further productisation of our core technologies for digital signature-based transaction security. A strong strategic partnership would facilitate and accelerate achievement of these initiatives."
By close of trading Thrusday, shares in the company were changing hads at 35 pence, 38% up on the previous close of 25.2 pence, but down from an earlier high of 49 pence.