Nova Scotia

U.S.-based CEO identified as ServiCom's would-be saviour

Anthony Marlowe is the CEO of Marlowe Companies Inc., or MCI. Its holdings several telecommunications and call centre support companies.

Anthony Marlowe was interested in the Sydney centre even before it unexpectedly closed, says business minister

More than 600 people worked at the Servicom call centre in Sydney, N.S., when it shut its doors Dec. 6. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

A well-known figure in the call centre industry is poised to take over the shuttered ServiCom call centre in Sydney, N.S., the province's business minister said Friday.

Geoff MacLellan confirmed the potential buyer is Anthony Marlowe of Iowa City, Iowa.

Marlowe is the CEO of Marlowe Companies Inc., or MCI. Its holdings include several telecommunications and call centre support companies.

MacLellan said he's spoken with Marlowe on several occasions over the past few weeks and his interest in the Sydney operation predates the centre's sudden closure Dec. 6.

The minister said Marlowe was impressed with the commitment of the workforce in Sydney and the call centre's long-standing connections with its major clients.

Business Minister Geoff MacLellan. (CBC)

"Because there's so much interest and so much connection to this community with these large organizations, Anthony saw it as a very important one that he wants to be a part of," said MacLellan.

"Obviously for business reasons, this is a profitable centre, but he wants to support what's happening here in Sydney with these 600 people."

Marlowe's purchase of the call centre is contingent on the outcome of bankruptcy proceedings underway in U.S. bankruptcy court in Connecticut.

Hearing next week in U.S. Court

A hearing scheduled for Dec. 18 will decide whether ServiCom can sell its contracts with various clients to a new buyer.

"If things work in [Marlowe's] favour on Tuesday in the U.S. courts, he'll be up and running in the new year," said MacLellan.

He has said Marlowe is not seeking any government assistance to purchase the Sydney call centre.

Meanwhile, MacLellan, who represents Glace Bay in the legislature, said he expects provincial money will start flowing to the laid-off workers by next week in the form of living allowances and heating assistance.

"These folks need money before Christmas, so I'm hoping we get it in their hands before then."

About the Author

Wendy Martin

Reporter

Wendy Martin has been a reporter for nearly 30 years. Her first job in radio was at the age of three, on a show called Wendy's House on CFCB Radio in Corner Brook, N.L. Get in touch at wendy.martin@cbc.ca

With files from Gary Mansfield