Getronics to sell noncore businesses

Holland-based IT services provider Getronics, which has a 500-plus customer base in Australia, will sell off select assets to reduce its debt and restore the confidence of customers and the financial markets.

The new management at Getronics does not support a debt-for-equity swap offer to bondholders made by the previous management team and will sell noncore and underperforming assets to clear its $US338 million debt, the company said in a statement.

Negotiations to sell Getronics Human Resource Solutions (GHRS), the unit that offers outsourced payroll services, are already under way and a sale is expected in the coming months, Getronics said.

Getronics Australia managing director Danny Sargeant said there are no Australian customers using its payroll services and the restructuring has had little impact on customers although analysts issued a warning earlier this year advising CIOs to put contingency plans in place as a result of the vendor's financial troubles.

Sargeant said the new management team will "remove uncertainty" and allow the company to focus on business as the debt problem has been an "unwarranted distraction".

Getronics is one of Europe's largest providers of IT consulting, integrating, implementing and managing services. Desktop outsourcing and management is one the company's biggest businesses.

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