Rotary boss tells workers to expect quick sale

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

The boss of M&E specialist Rotary has told staff to expect the business to find new owners very soon.

Phil Laidlaw, Rotary CEO, wrote to staff today confirming that the collapse of Australian parent Hastie Group would have no short term impact on operations.

He said contracts of employment were unaffected by the Hastie Group administration and pledged to pay wages as normal as a buyer was sought for Rotary.

An industry source told the Enquirer: “I wouldn’t be surprised to see the previous owner makes a move, maybe combined with a management buyout.

“A number of the directors were in Ireland last week, so I think they may have seen this coming.”

Laidlaw said the events offered an opportunity for the profitable Rotary business to become independent again.

He said: “Although we are saddened by the insolvencies in Australia, this is an opportunity for Rotary UK and the Republic of Ireland to emerge as a separate independent group.

“Preparations for the rapid sale of the business are already underway in order to sell Rotary UK and ROI businesses as an ongoing concern, which will provide the best prospects for safeguarding jobs and providing a stable long tern future.”

He added: “As a cash generative group of companies we have sufficient liquidity headroom to meet current obligations, including wages and deductions in the normal course.”

Today Hastie Group chief executive Bill Wild also emailed staff worldwide.

He said: “To those staff who are employed in the UK businesses, Services, GBI and Australia which have been put into receivership, you will not find circumstances or your day to day employment very much different going forward, except for the disruption you can expect as those businesses are sold.

“I wish you all the best for the future under new owners.

He added: “I understand very clearly that there will be resentment and even bitterness about what has happened to Hastie.

“Since early last year Hastie has had a seemingly endless run of difficulties.

“Even after last year’s recapitalisation and since I joined the company eight months ago we have unveiled a lot of bad news that effectively destroyed the company’s new balance sheet.

“Our efforts to reach an accommodation with the Bank Syndicate to recapitalise the business have ended in failure and while I apologise for that, I must also thank the many staff who worked very hard over the past couple of months for a better outcome.”

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