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US mail order dealer snaps up Simply

East London firm sells out after computer system problems

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It's official -- London-based reseller Simply Computers today ended months of speculation by announcing its sale to Global DirectMail. In an e-mail sent out to suppliers Paul Berry, Simply Computers' MD, said he had sold all the company's shares to the US giant. Today's move makes Simply a wholly owned subsidiary of the catalogue and stationery company. Berry attempted to assure his suppliers that he would remain as MD and continue running the off-the-page reseller with the support of his management team. He added: "Simply's fundamental business strategy will not change. We will continue to offer award-winning service through a mixture of off-the-page advertising, direct mail and pro-active sales." The e-mail blamed Simply's problems on the implementation of a new computer system. It claimed this had put "a massive strain on the entire company and in particular, on our cash flow. This has led to irregular payments, lower than anticipated sales volumes and generally strained our relationship". Nazir Jessa, joint MD of Watford Electronics, said: "Simply has got a lot of potential as a company, but seems to have suffered from a cashflow problem. Global should make a success of it, especially as it probably has the necessary cash injection and has kept Paul Berry. You need someone with a lot of experience to run a business like this." According to a statement on the reseller's Web site, the combined PC sales for the two companies stand at $350 million, with Internet sales at $60 million. Global has an existing UK subisidiary, called Misco. Based in Hampshire, this mail order dealership turns over £40 million per year. Simply Computers was unavailable for comment. ®

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