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UK DEC dealers merge

Will float within three to five years

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Keltec and Progress, two leading UK Digital dealers, are merging operations and moving towards a flotation within three to five years. They said that no redundancies are planned. Bracknell-based Keltec reported £23 million turnover last year to Progress’ £11 million, and despite talk of merging, Keltec is taking the upper hand and it is Keltec senior management that will run the show at Keltec Progress. Chris Davies, Progress founder and managing director will handle operations and services, while Keltec’s chairman, Brian Griffiths, and managing director John Fison, retain their current positions and titles, and Fison is assuming overall responsibility for sales, marketing and personnel. Fison said the merger made sense for a number of reasons. The companies operate in complementary markets and both wanted to create a larger company that could float relatively quickly and compete more effectively with big dealers. He added: "We wanted to develop… outside the City [and Progress'] strengths are process manufacturing, telecomms, education and research.” Progress employees are relocating from Chesham, Buckinghamshire to Bracknell and from Burton in the Midlands to Keltec’s new premises in Birmingham. All staff will be retained and Keltec Progress is launching an employee share incentive scheme to attract staff. Keltec’s business was exclusively DEC-based until early October when it became a Sun partner, a reaction to Compaq’s acquisition of DEC, which Fison acknowldged was double-edged since it ushered in new opportunities and threats from competitors like Computacenter. ®

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