VisionNet gets new owner and new name

Technically insolvent call-centre provider VisionNet has been sold to an unnamed buyer which is renaming the company VisionNet Pacific. The company had been in some financial difficulty since late last year, with around 20 staff not being paid. Last week it was put into receivership as a mechanism for winding it up and allowing the new company to begin without being encumbered with debt.

Technically insolvent call-centre provider VisionNet has been sold to an unnamed buyer which is renaming the company VisionNet Pacific.

The company had been in some financial difficulty since late last year, with around 20 staff not being paid.

Last week it was put into receivership as a mechanism for winding it up and allowing the new company to begin without being encumbered with debt.

Receiver Peter Brannigan says he was called in by the main debenture holder, which is a private shareholding trust.

He says he has been kept in touch for some time with the negotiations and the situation at VisionNet, whose subsidiary VisionNet Services, which holds the intellectual property rights, is owned 20% by IBM.

“VisionNet had reached the point of no return,” Brannigan says. “It was technically insolvent.”

He says the new owner — whom he couldn’t name — will continue to operate the business out of the same premises and with the same modus operandi. Chief executive Keith Oliver will continue in the role.

The trust which called in Brannigan has proposed a compromise agreement for the creditors, which include the unpaid staff.

Brannigan says there is not enough new capital from the investment to meet all the debts.

However, it’s not an uncommon arrangement, where a new purchaser wants to see its investment used for the future of the company, not to meet debts.

Lawyer Stewart McKenzie, who is counsel for VisionNet, confirms the investment agreement was signed last week. “I can’t tell you who the new owner is — Keith Oliver has been appointed as official spokesman and he’s not available today.”

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