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Pogo PDA maker restructures

Preps MBO

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Pogo Technology Ltd, the privately-owned UK niche PDA designer, is paving way for an MBO, through a restructure, following the failure of a shareholder to meet a funding commitment.

CTO Matthew Woolf said the management team has secured alternative funding and hopes the new arrangements will be in place in seven days. He declined to discuss customer volumes but noted that they were "not large enough to sustain a business and smaller than we hoped for at this point - the mobile data market has not grown as we projected. We came up with the (Pogo) concept in 1999 and set up in July 2000. The market has only got worse since then."

The Pogo MBO vehicle has to navigate its way through company closure and purchase of assets through a new business. So far as customers are concerned it should be business as usual, but for creditors it could be a different matter.

In a notice in today's Times, the firm announced a creditor's meeting for November 12, under Section 98 of the Insolvency Act.

Over to Insolvency UK, where we find the following definition.

Section 98 Gives formal notice to creditors of a Creditors' meeting to appoint a liquidator in a Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation. At the meeting the Chairman (a director) presents a Statement of Affairs and answers questions regarding the company's affairs. The creditors may appoint a liquidation committee to represent them.

So the deal is not set in stone - creditors could seek the appointment of their own liquidator, and an outsider could make a better offer for the assets than the MBO vehicle. Both scenarios are unlikely except, in the first instance, if the creditors have any reason to feel cross. Woolf says the company has kept staff, suppliers and customers in the loop.

Pogo currently has 27 employees, and 22 have expressed their commitment to stay on the company. According to Woolf, there is a good feeling about Pogo -"it's still the best in the market - it's cheep and cheerful, not expensive and complex.

Pogo launched its eponymous handheld device this year through Carphone Warehouse. ®

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