Outgoing AT Communications (ATC) chief executive Alex Tupman has claimed the sale of Rocom was a “shame” and was fuelled by pressure from the City to reduce debt.
Rival telecoms distributor Nimans bought Rocom for £12.45m last week, ending months of speculation. Tupman claimed the process had taken several months longer than he would have liked.
He also indicated there had been no real conflict between running a distribution business alongside ATC’s resale arm. He added that ATC’s efforts to evolve the distributor away from being a “box shifter” had been successful.
“Rocom was cash-draining because it grew so quickly it was a chicken and egg situation,” he said. “Selling it was a great shame, driven by demand from the City.”
Tupman will depart shortly, leaving chief operating officer Scott Kean in
charge on an interim basis. Rocom managing director Richard Carter will assist
Nimans for up
to three months when required, before returning to ATC.
Tupman said either man would make a good successor and added: “ATC has an experienced team who deserve a chance to take the reins. I suspect I will remove myself from the industry.”
He stressed the importance of effective integration, adding: “Other distributors have made a sham of it before. It is up to them to make sure resellers get the best of both worlds, rather than the worst of one.”
Richard Bligh, marketing director for carrier Gamma Telecom, added: “They are almost identical. The question is: will they be a good fit or is it too good a fit? What is the overlap of customers?”
Nimans declined to comment.
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