Public approach provides cash, visibility

Now that it's traded publicly, AC Technical expects to win more business, pursue expansion
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

WHITBY, ONTARIO - Flush with CDN 7.5 million ($6.25 million) thanks to going public in late 2004, systems integrator AC Technical is poised to take on large-scale security projects, such as $800,000 in security work it recently won as part of three government-related security projects.

The funding is an important part of AC Technical’s strategy, as it looks to hire additional employees, upgrade its infrastructure and build a national network. The company currently employs 65 people and reported $10 million in revenues in 2003.

“We saw that if we had a public company and access to financing, it would make it easier to grow,” said Sayan Navaratnam, chief executive officer of AC Technical Systems and its holding company Creative Vista.

The systems integrator went public through a reverse merger with public shell company Creative Vista. Some of the money raised through the transaction went to legal fees associated with the deal, paid down debt and the mortgage for AC Technical’s facility.

“The rest of the money,” said Navaratnam, “will be used for working capital.”

Prior to going public, the company was owned by two trusts held by Navaratnam and President Dominic Burns. The two continue to maintain a majority interest in the business.

Not only does going public provide money to grow the company, but it also provides visibility, according to Navaratnam. The company gained additional visibility last year when it joined National Systems Integrators, a network of systems integrators who work together on large-scale projects.

Navaratnam expects going public will also enable the company to acquire other systems integrators in the future.

Over the next year, Burns projects business to increase 35 percent. He said that is possible since revenue doubled over the past several years.