Avanti’s clouds clearGetting into orbit is a tricky business – just ask Sir Richard Branson, whose Virgin Galactic spacecraft finally made it to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere yesterday after more than a decade of trying. The same struggle for a rocket-fuelled boost has plagued shares in Avanti Communications, the satellite operator, for much of that period. That may be about to change. With new leadership and an overhauled balance sheet, Avanti might finally be well-placed to generate meaningful revenue and profit growth.
I understand that the company is likely to announce before the end of the year that Paul Walsh, the former Diageo boss and current chairman of Compass Group, will step down in the coming months as Avanti’s chairman. His successor will be Alan Harper, who recently became deputy chairman and who will inherit a business which, if not yet heading for orbit, at least looks to be heading free of such unremitting cloud cover.