Potential buyers turn their backs on 2e2

All remaining potential bidders for indebted 2e2, the IT services group that has left droves of IT contractors out of pocket since filing for administration, have withdrawn their interest.

Despite initial optimism that the Newbury-based group would be sold, in light of reported talks with Daisy and Computacenter - 2e2’s administrators all but say they came to nothing.

In a statement, FTI Consulting explained: “We have engaged with a number of parties who had expressed an interest in acquiring all or parts of the [2e2] business as a going concern.

“Regrettably, despite these efforts, we have been unable to secure an acceptable and deliverable offer to sell the business as a going concern and there is no further funding which can be made available.”

As well as representing a major blow to contractors and other suppliers who remain unpaid, the administrator’s admission that there is no cash left over will sting 2e2’s data centre clients, who have been asked to fork out funds to keep the servers alive.

In a letter before the weekend, such clients were told that not paying will result in FTI being “unable to maintain [2e2’s] Data Centre Infrastructure” and means “no alternative other than to cease all operations without any managed wind-down of those operations.”

Vesk, a virtual desktop specialist, has recommended that 2e2’s customers who wish to avoid stumping out the requested and substantial cash sums should take “immediate action to find an alternative provider.”

However in its letter, FTI hinted that a prompt transfer may be impossible: “We have received a number of requests from customers seeking to gain access to their data immediately and to transition services to alternative providers

“Unfortunately, the levels of data held in the Companies’[2e2s’] Data Centres are such that this process could take up to 16 weeks”.

Vesk’s managing director James Mackie suggested such data clients could face the unenviable prospect of seeing 2e2’s data centres switched off while their data is still inside.

“Customers leaving 2e2 should always look for a vendor with multiple datacentres, but the key is to have those datacentres owned by different providers, “ he said, “so in the unlikely event of their insolvency, customers would still be able to retrieve their data.”

A source from a 2e2 reseller, which Vest cited, reflected: “I do feel 2e2 may have been able to turn things around if they changed their approach, but like all large IT companies, customers became increasingly impatient with long lead times and disparate project management.”

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported that talks to sell the leftover rump of 2e2’s business (its international outfits are unaffected by administration), including the data centres, were described by the administrators as “continuing”.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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