Zenith RMM Investigates Alternatives, Reassures Partners

By Jessica Davis

Zenith Infotech and Zenith RMM are doing their best to reassure partners in the wake of the news that Zenith Infotech defaulted on its bond payment to QVT Financial on Sept. 21.

It’s business as usual at Zenith Infotech, a spokeswoman told Channel Insider, with the company maintaining its schedule of tradeshows and product releases going forward, and reassuring partners that it remains financially viable and stable. However, the company still  cannot comment on anything to do with the bond default.

Meanwhile at Zenith RMM, the portion of the company that was sold for a majority stake to Summit Partners in a deal consummated on Sept. 26 and announced on Sept. 28, CEO Michael George told Channel Insider that his new company’s first concern is to take care of its partner customers.

"We are fully committed to supporting every one of our contracted customers, including those who are supporting any one of the Zenith Infotech endpoints," said George.  That said, George added "We are being asked by our partners that we share with Zenith Infotech to provide some guarantees or alternatives to them should Infotech not return to being a good standing partner with their financial partners in the marketplace."

Before partners leap to an alternative offer to Zenith Infotech’s cloud or back up services, "we want our partners in common to have a place to go. We are evaluating alternatives and we will, should the Infotech position not improve, we will provide a smooth transition for all of our partners."

With that in mind, Zenith RMM’s alternatives could encompass one of four scenarios, George confirmed. They include acquiring another company, partnering with another company, developing the technology internally, or using technology that may exist in majority stakeholder Summit Partners’ portfolio of companies.  Not currently under consideration is any move to shift Zenith Infotech’s remaining technology to Zenith RMM, George told Channel Insider, answering a question.

"Whatever is best for our partners is foremost under consideration for us," George said. "That is our top priority."

For now, Zenith RMM is encouraging partners to take a wait and see attitude.

George also decried emails sent to partners from competitors that he called "preditor-like" as Zenith Infotech and even Zenith RMM competitors looked to take advantage of the perceived instability to gain market share from Zenith.

Separately, answering a question, George said that he knew of no provision that would invalidate the sale of Zenith RMM to Summit Partners, even though the sale happened five days after the bond default. The Times of India had reported that bond holder QVT Financial had questioned the sale, asked that it be halted if it hadn’t already been consummated, and filed suit for information about the sale to be released.

Zenith Infotech is a publicly traded company, but because it is based outside of the United States, it has not been subject to the same financial reporting standards as companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. However, Bloomberg/Businessweek lists summaries of the Zenith Infotech’s financials, earnings and board members here.  It notes that Zenith Infotech’s earnings for the last reported quarter ended June 30, 2011 dropped to $998.1K compared with $2.2 million for the same quarter the year before, in spite of higher revenues for the quarter year over year, from $17.7 million in 2010 to $18.7 million in 2011 for the quarter ended June 30. Bloomberg/Businessweek attributes the difference to an increase in the percentage of sales devoted to cost of goods sold from 45.18 percent to 59.52 percent.


This article was originally published on 2011-10-20