Lemon Asia Acquires Mercatela Business In Hong Kong

Asian Internet professional services firm Mercatela has found a buyer to acquire the ongoing contracts and intellectual property of its Hong Kong outfit, which went into voluntary liquidation last week.

“From day one of the liquidation it was apparent that a rescue of the business was the only prospect of any recovery to creditors. In the space of five working days we had entered into six non-disclosure agreements and entertained intensive negotiations,” said Rupert Purser of Baker Tilly, Mercatela’s provisional liquidator.

Hong Kong-based Lemon (Asia), a multimedia and digital technology agency and provider of strategic consulting, design, development and deployment of advanced e-business solutions, has stepped in, signing a provisional agreement to acquire Mercatela’s Hong Kong business.

“There were a number of parties interested in the Mercatela business, but for every reason – ongoing business, employee opportunities and the potential to realize assets – it was critical to act swiftly,” Purser said.

“Lemon’s sensitivity to all of those issues, plus a thoroughly professional approach to all aspects of the negotiations, were highly instrumental in securing the deal so quickly.”

Lemon chief executive officer Neil Runcieman, confirmed today that his company was in a position to guarantee ongoing service on all of Mercatela’s outstanding contracts. Mercatela’s customers in Hong Kong include Hutchison Whampoa and British Airways.

“The acquisition will make it possible to rescue at least some of the Mercatela business in Hong Kong,” he said.

“Apart from our obvious interest in improving Lemon’s business base, our main concern is to ensure continuity and security for their customers, who may otherwise have to write off their investments in work in progress. We’re also already talking to ex-Mercatela employees and looking at opportunities for helping them carry on their work.”

Added Purser, “The offer received from Lemon was structured in a realistic and ultimately achievable manner. It represents by far the best prospect of a successful business rescue.”

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