Vasanta closes in on rescue bid as PwC hovers

OFFICE supply group Vasanta has said it is at an &ldquo;advanced stage&rdquo; of discussions over a restructure of its debts, and dismissed &ldquo;alarmist and misleading&rdquo; speculation it is on the brink of bankruptcy. <br /><br />Chief executive at the firm, which is struggling after having its credit insurance to key suppliers withdrawn, Richard Martin said it still has the support of its bankers and added the restructure now includes an unnamed &ldquo;new institutional shareholder&rdquo;.<br /><br />Reports had suggested the Sheffield-based company, which employs around 1,400 staff, has called in administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers to stand by in case it collapses.<br /><br />Martin said he is confident of a &ldquo;satisfactory outcome within a very short while&rdquo;, and that the company &ldquo;will then be well positioned&rdquo;. <br /><br />Vasanta is owned by private equity group Electra Partners, which revealed in recent half-year results to end-March that it wrote down the firm&rsquo;s value by &pound;28m &ndash; equivalent to 98 per cent of its initial value &ndash; after the trade credit insurance cuts left it saddled with crippling bad debts. <br /><br />Credit insurance protects against non-payment for goods or services.