The prospect of 2e2 administrator FTI selling the entire UK operation of the stricken integrator in one swoop was dealt a blow this weekend after several key suitors walked away from a deal.
As revealed on Thursday, Computacenter and Daisy Group were seated at the negotiating table but have now decided to end their interest in the Berkshire-based integrator.
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A move by 2e2's major customers Vodafone, Citigroup, Kellog and Mark & Spencers to seek alternative suppliers is understood to have affected the decision from the two interested parties.
As revealed earlier today, 70 2e2 staff running IT services for M&S are currently transferring to rival integrator Logicalis.
RBS is also understood to be close to moving to another supplier with IT chiefs at the bank preferring a proactive course rather than waiting for any sale to be finalised.
"There is very little value left in the business, this thing hit the wall at high speed and customers reacted quickly. If they've lost staff and customer contracts, what is left to sell?" said a source familiar with the matter.
Loquacious whisperers with knowledge of the negotiations say that Computacenter met with FTI on Saturday and Daisy Group walked away from the talks last night after a day of chaffering.
"I will be surprised if they sell the UK business," another insider told us. "If it isn't done very, very soon then I think the administrator will close the business and make the rest of the staff redundant".
To date FTI has made two rounds of job cuts - 319 workers from across the UK on 29 January and then 26 on 1 February. It is unclear how many of the 1,100 other workers remain on board as some have walked of their own accord.
The administrator has struggled to find the funds to pay staff, but permanent UK workers remaining in the business have been promised payment for January and for continued service.
"The administrator's intention is to draw a line under it [2e2] as fast as they can. They feel duty bound to pay people but every day this drags on it's costing more and more money," said a source.
FTI told staff on Friday that it was nearing a sale, with sources suggesting that a deal could be signed today but that was before Daisy Group and Computacenter walked out.
The sale of the international subsidiaries which remain unaffected by the administration of UK ops continues.
FTI refused to comment further today, and Daisy Group and Computacenter were not available to comment at the time of writing. ®