Baltimore Technologies faces takeover action
By nobby nobody firm looking for publicity
A little known encryption firm called Chantilley has made a take over approach to the board of Baltimore Technologies, Europe's largest security firm.
The move came as a surprise to Baltimore because Chantilley sent us a press release on the subject before successfully contacting the firm.
A spokesman for Baltimore said that Chantilley had sent a letter to the wrong address (possibly to a Dublin Balti house - Ed) and it wasn't until the Reg forwarded Chantilly's press release that it Baltimore got clued up on the approach.
She said Chantilley had requested a meeting with Baltimore but the company would need a firm proposal before there was any possibility of taking the matter further.
"As a publicly traded company, Baltimore would always consider what is in the best interests of shareholders but its executives are focusing on executing a major restructuring of the business," she said.
Chantilley is a privately owned firm with just twenty employees which, according to Finance Director Mike Downey, makes most of its revenues from licensing its technology to Computer Associates. Its technology has been accepted as a standards for facsimile security by the International Telecommunications Union, according to the firm which said "there is no doubt that Chantilley's technology will become the future security standard", sorry guys but we doubt it - especially in the absence of any evidence. But at least this takeover stunt may have has raised its profile slightly.
Chantilley, which makes a range of encryption and key management products, has been trading for eight years and Downey believes it can come up with a reverse take-over offer that will persuade Baltimore shareholders to trade in their shares. We are far from convinced on this, even though Baltimore is going though a hard time in the market at the moment and its shares are trading on the floor.
As previously reported, earlier this week Baltimore's chief executive Fran Rooney resigned.
In May, Baltimore announced that it would shed 250 jobs in a move that means that almost one in five of its 1,200 workers would be shown the door. More job cuts will come as a result of the forthcoming restructuring, which is designed to save Baltimore £14 million a year.
Baltimore has been particularly hard hit by the downturn in the tech sector, which has been accompanied by disappointing sales.
Because of this shares in Baltimore have plunged from a high of £15 last year to the meagre 62p they are currently trading at on the London Stock Exchange. ®