Arq Group rebrands again, remaining business emerges as Webcentral Group

Arq Group, formerly Melbourne IT, is now Webcentral Group Limited, after it sold its naming rights along with its Enterprise Services Division.

Arq Group, formerly Melbourne IT, has emerged from its annual general meeting with another new name, moving forward under the branding of Webcentral Group Limited.

"The board considers the change of company name to Webcentral Group provides maximum flexibility to support multiple possible futures for the company," the company told shareholders.

In February, a struggling Arq Group announced the sale of its Enterprise Services Division for a cost of AU$35 million, leaving the company with only its SMB Division and the need for a new name as it also sold the rights to the Arq brand.

The net proceeds received from the sale are AU$21.6 million, which will be used to retire debt. As of 31 December 2019, net debt was AU$53 million.

In delivering its financial results in late February, the company said it was progressing discussions with interested parties for the sale of its SMB division, and that it had received several non-binding letters of indicative proposals.

Chairman Andrew Reitzer told shareholders on Thursday that a number of parties have shown interest and are still interested in the SMB business, explaining that the process remained ongoing.

"Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 on capital and debt markets have slowed this process, however, I feel we are nearing the end soon," he added.

The company has been searching for ways to reduce its debt, in September announcing a review by Macquarie Capital to "explore all avenues for shareholder value creation".

"Throughout 2019, the SMB division had an unrelenting focus on customers, a change to the operating model, effective cost management, and an integrated approach in sales account management and fulfilment," Reitzer told shareholders at its AGM.

"2019 was a challenging year for the Enterprise division. After years of sustained organic growth, our Enterprise division encountered market headwinds in the second half of 2019."

For the first half of 2020, Arq recorded a net loss after tax of almost AU$129 million.

The company claimed underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of just over AU$12 million from continuing operations for the six months to December 2019. However, reported EBITDA was a AU$31 million loss.

Revenue for the reported period was AU$83.6 million, down from the AU$100 million revenue generated a year prior.

Melbourne IT was renamed in April 2018.

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