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Distie finds itself in Boston "situation"

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Just a few weeks ago, The Register found itself sitting with a hangover in Boston, as two suits talked earnestly about a US distributor called Pinacor involved in an odd takeover situation. (See a previous edition of Bootnotes). And so it came to pass. We heard what the US suit called the "scuttlebutt" that CHS Electronics was close to a deal to buy Pinacor - the distribution arm of MicroAge - for $650 million in cash and stock. We flew American Airlines on the way over to the US and noticed that Pinacor came up too many times on the cute little TV screen in front of our faces. Frankly, most of us had never heard of it, being from dear old Blighty. But it appears that it pays to hang round Boston Marriott hotel lobbies in the morning. And have a cup of tea. The Bostonians don't seem to mind Scots having cuppas round them. Previously MicroAge had said that it wanted Pinacor to survive any merger as the dominant partner, and for it to retain its identity. Speaking earliehr this year, MicroAge chairman and chief executive Jeffrey McKeever said "All merger situations involve Pinacor being the survivor." McKeever split Pinacor off from MicroAge earlier this year. Pinacor is expected to have sales of around $4.5 billion for 1998. CHS has just announced sales of $1.8 billion for its second quarter. Merisel has also been tipped as a prospective purchaser for Pinacor. Brian Burke, at Dun & Bradstreet's computer marketing intelligence department, said that a possible compromise would be for the Pinacor name to be retained In the US, by whoever bought the company. "It could be a strategic partnership rather than an outright acquisition" he said.

Also close to a sale is beleaguered US reseller Vanstar, which is expected to be sold to Entex Information Services this week.

Chairman and chief executive Bill Tauscher said that the loss-making reseller - which had blamed the alleged dearth of co-op marketing funding for its problems - would have sorted out its position by the end of the month. Last week the reseller announced 1000 lay-offs.

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