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Innes keeps his options open after Amor deal

OUTGOING Amor Group chief executive John Innes says he is keeping an open mind on whether to build up a portfolio of non-executive positions or get involved in growing another business following the company's sale to Lockheed Martin.

support ROLE: John Innes will assist Amor Group chief operating officer Scott Leiper after the company??s sale.
support ROLE: John Innes will assist Amor Group chief operating officer Scott Leiper after the company??s sale.

Mr Innes will assist chief operating officer Scott Leiper, who will now run Amor, in the integration of the IT business before moving to a non-executive position.

Mr Innes said: "Candidly my plans are reasonably short term. [I want to] make this thing successful and get behind Scott.

"Beyond that I am not sure. If there was the odd non-exec that looked interesting and didn't cross my objectives with Lockheed then I would look at it. I am looking forward to the future but it is not particularly defined for me at the moment.

"In terms of supporting the business Scott can get as much or as little of me as he needs whenever he wants. We have worked together for the past 12 years so it will be pretty seamless."

Mr Innes also confirmed there were a number of parties from private equity and the trade interested in completing a deal with Amor.

However, Lockheed was the most "assertive" with the negotiations taking place over a period of five months.

He said: "We were pretty open about the need to refinance the business and were looking at the private equity and trade routes and there was strong interest.

"Lockheed were aware of that and were able to quantify their interest while others wanted more information or were pretty shy about their interest."

Mr Leiper said the Amor brand will disappear towards the turn of the year but customers should not notice any difference in their relationships with the business.

The company will continue to concentrate on areas it is established in such as the public, transport and energy sectors.

He indicated he is hopeful of creating jobs in Scotland as the business, which already employs 600 people around the UK, has projected increasing its headcount by 200 in the coming months while also pushing further in North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

However, Mr Leiper admitted there had not yet been any decision on whether the new roles will be located in Scotland or England.

He said: "It was the right deal at the right time. It takes what we had in our business plan to 2016 and accelerates it.

"As part of the acceleration we expect to create more jobs around the UK and in Scotland. We don't know the split yet but I am obviously biased towards Scotland.

"The deal gives us access to more technologies we can take to our customers and also helps us expedite our international plans as Lockheed has boots on the ground in umpteen countries."

Mr Leiper also expects to play a role in continuing to build the Lockheed IT business in the UK.

Lockheed has already stated it is looking at further deals with Mr Leiper acknowledging Amor had some potential acquisitions lined up prior to its sale.

He added: "We will help [Lockheed] with acquisition opportunities. We already had a number in the funnel for the growth of Amor so will be looking over those again and also helping to spot more."

Amor, which has its headquarters in the village of Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, was created in 2009 by a buy-out of the Real Time and Pragma divisions from Sword Group.

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