Trinity Expert Systems' top technical bod has announced he is jumping ship, a week after the VAR was bought from administration by Liberata.
John Doyle, who was chief technical architect at Trinity, emailed colleagues to inform them he has accepted a job offer at Microsoft.
As revealed by CRN, Trinity's business and assets were snapped up from administration last Thursday by 1,500-strong business process outsourcing (BPO) outfit Liberata after the VAR succumbed to cashflow issues.
Under TUPE laws, Trinity's 340 staff were transferred across to the new owner, which has pledged to recapitalise the business with £5m investment and working capital.
In a note to staff, seen by CRN, Doyle said his decision to leave after 12 years of service had not been easy, and urged colleagues to stick by the new owner. His decision to join Microsoft was taken before last Thursday, he stressed.
"Having spent some time getting to know the Liberata business and management team, I do genuinely believe this represents a significant opportunity for Trinity, our staff and customers," he said, claiming the combined business can offer a broader range of services including BPO, IT outsourcing and cloud services to both the private and public sector.
"I recommend that each of you allow some time for the extended management team to help you get up to speed with these broader service offerings and future strategy, such that you can truly understand the real opportunity the combined business will provide for you and your future career," he added.
In a Q&A sent to Trinity staff last week, Liberata said it was too early to say whether it will implement a redundancy programme but warned that "duplication across back-office and support functions" stemming from the acquisition may prompt it to review its cost base.
No changes were planned to Trinity's management team, with chief executive Steve McDonagh having already agreed to remain on board. Liberata plans to retain a base in Coventry, where Trinity had its head office, but it has not taken on Trinity's London offices in Roman Way and Shepherdess Walk.
Nitin Joshi, founder of ChannelMoney, said the purchase of a distressed company by a larger competitor can lead to a brain drain at the acquired firm.
"Staff morale may be a problem. They will be asking whether they want to be there and whether it is a secure environment for the next five years," he said, adding that new management should offer additional incentives to ensure key staff don't become demoralised and leave.
Joshi said he understood Trinity went under owing trade suppliers roughly £4m but that the figure had not been confirmed.
The collapse of buy-and-build VARs such as Trinity often have a domino effect across the channel, Joshi added, citing the cashflow difficulties experienced by suppliers in the wake of 2e2's demise, channel services firm XOR being one prominent victim.
"Just because Liberata has bought the business and assets, that doesn't mean all the suppliers Trinity traded with will supply substantial trade credit facilities to the enlarged business," Joshi added. "They will need up-to-date accounts and financials from Liberata to assess the risk."
Eddie Pacey, founder of EP Credit Management & Consultancy, also expressed concerns for Trinity's creditors.
"Creditors lists are unlikely to be publicised until three months into the administration but given the parlous state of the balance sheet, the price paid to acquire Trinity is unlikely to be enough to pay secured long term creditors let alone unsecured current creditors," he said.
"Worryingly, there are still many businesses with negative balance sheet values, an inability to service debt used to acquire with horrendous intangible fixed assets having paid over the odds for businesses acquired. Worse still on occasion, acquired businesses too often go downhill.'
Neither Doyle nor Liberata could not be reached for comment as this story went to press.
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