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Avnet pops out for a little Italian

Snaffles two Euro-disties as part of its Continental drift

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Avnet is to buy two Italian distributors as part of its European expansion. The Arizona-based distributor will add PCD Italia and Matica, both based in Milan, to its growing stable of European companies. Earlier this year, Avnet landed itself an AMD franchise in the UK by acquiring UK distributor Flashpoint via its buyout of Marshall Industries. PCD Italia and Matica reported combined sales of $120 million for the year ended 31 December 1998, and will add their 60 employees to the Avnet group. PCD Italia is a distributor for IBM and Sun Microsystems, while Matica sells Hewlett-Packard. Both will join Avnet's Computer Marketing Group as part of its Hall-Mark Global Solutions division. PCD's main products include IBM AS/400, IBM RS/600, IBM printing, storage and software and Sun workstations and servers. Matica's include HP servers. Roy Vallee, Avnet chairman and CEO, said the company was looking to acquire more companies in the area to enable it to break into new sectors. "We are seeking to acquire companies on the Continent that will strengthen our efforts in providing the highest value relationships to our customers and suppliers, and expand our business into new markets," he said. The company said the integration of the Italian companies should run smoothly as both showed a similar culture to Avnet. Hall-Mark's sales in Europe reached $117 million for this financial year. This figure will be doubled by these latest acquisitions. The Hall-Mark division also operates in North America, Austria, Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland. ®

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