CCD broadline suitors open acquisition talks

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CCD broadline suitors open acquisition talks

Paul Kunert

CCD has been talking to two broadline admirers interested in acquiring the business but as yet the offers on the table have not met expectations.

The saga unfolded over the summer, starting out as a three horse race including Computer 2000, Ingram Micro and an enterprise distributor - although the latter has withdrawn from discussions.

Mike Norris, chief exec at Computacenter, is in no hurry to sell its distribution arm CCD, as the business had become profitable following its decision last year to stop selling PCs and printers, which has also freed £10m in working capital.

He told MicroScope, "the business makes money and I can understand why people would want to buy it but I genuinely think the likelihood is that we will continue owning that asset.

"Are people talking to me? Yes, but for the foreseeable future we are going to continue with that business."

However, sources close to the situation reckon that CC's board could be tempted to sell CCD - which is not strategically core to its future plans - if the price is right.

The interest for the two broadliners centres on CCD's customer base of mid-market resellers which would enable them to compete more effectively against Avnet, DNS and Bell Micro.

The vendor franchises include HP Enterprise Server and Storage - the guts of the circa £100m business - IBM System x, storage and servers, Red Hat and application crash prevention software from Neverfail.

The state of the art warehouse in Hatfield which was a hefty investment from Computacenter at the turn of the millennium could also attract the suitors, as it is understood that the integrator may outsource logistics to the successful bidder.

However, even if the right sale price can be agreed the deal would need to be ratified by vendor partners to ensure existing contracts will be transferred to the potential new owner, and get clearance from the Office of Fair Trading.

Ingram Micro and Computer 2000 were unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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