Azzurri has unveiled a new chief executive and chairman pairing after completing a refinancing process.
With Mark Quartermaine and Jim McKenna both stepping down, Azzurri has crowned former Datapoint boss Vim Vithaldas as its chief executive and Keith Taylor as its chairman.
The reshuffle follows the completion of a refinancing process that sees Azzurri slash £238m of liabilities from its balance sheet and significantly reduce its cash interest burden.
Azzurri's new banking facilities run until June 2014.
Talking to ChannelWeb, Vithaldas said the changes mark the start of a "new chapter" for the managed communication services specialist.
"It is no secret that Azzurri has historically had a heavy debt burden on its balance sheet," Vithaldas said.
"I competed with Azzurri at Datapoint and they have good people, a good client base and a good proposition. And now they have that without the financial burden they have had in the past."
Azzurri racked up £238m in "quasi-equity" through the string of 16 acquisitions it made last decade and its private equity takeover in 2006. This has now all been converted into equity, meaning it is no longer sitting as a liability on the balance sheet.
Its £97m of bank debt will remain on the balance sheet but the interest Azzurri must pay on it has been reduced.
Azzurri's bottom line rose 28 per cent to £11.5m in its last reported financial year and Vithaldas said he joins a company in comparatively rude health.
"The reason the banks have renewed for two and a half years is they have great confidence in the company," he said.
"When this opportunity came up, it was a no-brainer for me. I looked at Azzurri's strategy and there were no obvious gaps in its offering. In the comms space it can offer an end-to-end service to clients – I just need to ensure we are selling the entire proposition into as many clients as possible."
Former chief executive Quartermaine (pictured, right) has resigned from the business to take up another appointment, although Azzurri declined to give more details. Previous chairman McKenna has stepped down but will remain as a non-executive director until 31 March 2012.
In addition, Azzurri announced a series of non-exec changes. 3i luminary Nigel Guy has been appointed as non-executive director, while Kay Ashton, Stephen Day and former Azzurri boss Martin St Quinton all step down as non-executive directors.
Vithaldas said: "Mark and Jim have taken Azzurri through the refinancing and have done a terrific job."
St Quinton - who helmed Azzurri between 2000 and 2008 - said it was the right time to step away completely from the firm. "I am already working with four or five other businesses and will probably increase that by a couple more now that I am not spending any more time with Azzurri. I wish them all the best," said.
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