Retrenchments at Altech Autopage

While third party mobile services provider Nashua Mobile has announced its intention to close its doors, rival firm, Altech Autopage, completed a process of retrenchments in January.

Last week, Nashua Mobile chief executive Mark Taylor said that the business is set to wind down completely within the next six months.

It follows an announcement from parent company Reunert that Nashua Mobile will dispose of its MTN and Vodacom subscriber bases saying that “it is unlikely that this business would generate acceptable returns”.

Taylor said that, amid the cuts in mobile termination rates and tariff snipping, it meant that not enough margin is left for a third party service provider like Nashua Mobile to run a sustainable business.

Reunert noted that there are approximately 600 permanent employees within the Nashua Mobile brand. “There will be retrenchments, but all options are being considered to place employees within the rest of the Reunert group and in the industry where possible.”

“Unfortunately we are unable to be more specific until the conditions precedent in the sales agreements have been concluded,” it said.

Altech Autopage

News regarding Nashua’s demise sparked interest in the future of Altech Autopage.

Questions sent to the firm drew the following response: “Altron is currently in a closed period. As such we cannot make any statements at this time with regard to Altech Autopage’s performance. Our results will be published on 14 May 2014.”

In January, BusinessTech was informed by a number of sources that Altech was retrenching staff.

Questions sent to the business drew the following statement from Boyd Chislett, MD of Altech Autopage:

“Due to the continuous streamlining of business processes and investment in technology, the Altech Autopage executive team has identified the need to right-­size the cost structure of the business to take advantage of these investments.

“To that end, we can confirm that we have initiated a Section 189 consultation process with our employees to determine what the most efficient structure would be to enable continuous growth for the business.

“At this stage, due to the nature of this consultation process, we cannot confirm how many of our employees might be affected.

“However, during this period, all our employees will have access to on-­‐site counseling and support from professional councilors to guide and advise them.”

Chislett told BusinessTech in a follow up email on 23 April that “at this time Altech Autopage is not in a retrenchment process”.

He said that details on the Altech Autopage business will be publicly available when Altron announces its financial results on 14 May 2014.

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Retrenchments at Altech Autopage