Systems integrator Uni Systems has scrapped plans to open up shop in the UK after two of its largest customers commited to relocate their headquarters as a result of Brexit.
Two EU agencies - the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) - announced intentions to move their headquarters out of Canary Wharf, London, last month, picking Paris and Amsterdam respectively as their new homes.
The move will see more than 1,000 jobs leave the UK - 900 from the EMA and 150 from the EBA.
Uni Systems' managing director Yiannis Loumakis told us at the start of the year that he wants to expand into the UK and Paris to better support its largest customers.
But since the EMA is trading London for Amsterdam, plans for a London office have been abandoned, according to the MD.
"A lot of these organisations are relocating their employees and as a result companies like us who are supporting them have to move too. We were going to move to the UK to support the EMA but now there are going to be no opportunities for us in the UK, so we are going to move into the local French and Dutch markets," he said.
"We need an entity in Paris first - the EMA are not moving until 2019, so we have some time, but Paris will be 2018."
The EMA has set March 2019 as the deadline for its relocation to Amsterdam. The Dutch capital was selected out of 19 bids to house the EU agency, and pipped Italy's Milan after each city drew an equal number of votes from EU affairs ministers.
Athens-based Uni Systems has made a big push to grow its international sales as the Greek banking sector began to shrivel up as a result of the 2007 to 2008 financial crisis. Loumakis said that hefty long-term contracts with the European Union are key in its ambition to boost overseas business.
The company competes with IT services giants such as Atos, Unisys and Accenture.
Loumakis pegged Uni Systems' international business at around 30 per cent of overall sales, up from zero per cent eight years ago. Now international sales are at 40 per cent of revenues, claims the MD, who plans to strike a 50-50 split between domestic and overseas sales by 2020.
Claiming to be Greece's first-ever Greek-owned IT company, Uni Systems currently has other European locations in Brussels, Luxembourg and Romania but trades into 20 mainly European countries.
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