Optima and Digital City up for grabs

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Both Optima ICN and its Digital City subsidiary have appeared for sale in the Australian Financial Review, with administrators Moore Stephens saying bids of interest had already been lodged.

According to Moore Stephens co-administrator, David Mansfield, the company hoped to sell both businesses intact and had received ‘whole of business’ bids for both, but he did not rule out breaking both companies up.

“Some people are looking at it [Optima] as a whole. As I said, some of the people we’re talking to are looking at it as a whole but not ruling anything out, but really, until you get more information through, it’s really hard to know whether they are genuinely interested in the whole part.”

Referring to Digital City, Mansfield again said their preference was to sell it as a whole.

“If we can’t achieve that and we get a better result by breaking it into parts, then we’ll certainly entertain that,” he said.

However, he said such an outcome was “probably unlikely”.

Mansfield said no price had been set on either business, with offers being solicited and considered.

While he said he hoped to sell the business in the next two months, Moore Stephens would not go for “fire sale” prices, either.

“We’re going to get the best possible price and we’re after a quick sale. We want to get the best possible price for creditors.”

The collapse of Optima and its subsidiary companies has meant PC manufacturing has stopped, as have all warranty repairs.

Any customers who have had to pay for their own warranty repairs able to list as unsecured creditors, said Mansfield.

Digital City stores have continued trading and would do so until the outcome of the sale, he said.

Mansfield could not reveal the identities of any potential suitors, though.

The initial creditors meeting will be Monday, with Mansfield saying Moore Stephens had contacted “most” creditors. However, he said he did expect more could come forward.

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