Over 400 UK employees of Baltimore Technologies face losing their jobs as the troubled IT security firm restructures, vnunet.com learnt today.
Sources close to the company predicted that between 250 and 400 staff faced the axe, in addition to the 250 who already lost their jobs in another "downsizing" exercise three months ago.
The company is expected to announce the latest round of redundancies this Wednesday when it reveals its half-year financial results. The latest figures are expected to show a pre-tax loss of £18m.
Industry watchers also predicted that the firm will be forced to place elements of its business up for sale in a bid to raise cash. JP Morgan technology analyst David Reynolds explained that the company was in "big trouble" and needed to raise cash quickly. "A cash boost from disposals would be significant. It would give Baltimore a little more rope," he said.
Content Technologies, the software business which Baltimore acquired in a share-only deal last September, is widely tipped as the first business unit that the security firm will try to divest.
Analysts point out that Content - currently worth around £50m in stark contrast to its £700m price tag when it was acquired - could be spun off easily as it has not yet been fully integrated into Baltimore's corporate structure.
It is also considered likely that Baltimore will try to scale down peripheral business activities, such as Content, and concentrate on its leading position in the Public Key Infrastructure secure transaction technology market.
Reynolds pointed out that Baltimore was one of the most spectacular examples of a technology company falling from financial grace. He reflected on the fact that the firm was once listed in the FTSE 100 index with a capitalisation of £13bn, but is now currently valued at only £115m.
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