As expected, Northgate completed its acquisition of Anite’s Public Sector division on Friday. I covered this acquisition in last week’s blog (following news that the acquisition was not going to be referred to the Competition Commission), but what now for Anite?
As noted in last week’s blog, 6-8 years ago, Anite had a knack of buying businesses that were just going ex-growth, but at high prices. Now it has two businesses that are in markets that are both declining – a Wireless Testing division and a Travel division. Yes – it can use the £54m from Northgate to clear its debt and possibly buy-back some shares, but longer term it is not out of the wood.
Holways HotViews (sorry – UKHotViews now) has a good article on this – I agree with his expectation of another step before Anite’s transformation is complete – but the Anite Board has struggled to deliver good news over the past few years, and I would not be surprised to see Anite’s share price decline considerably over the coming months as the Anite Board tries to complete that transformation.