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Former Info'P owner dumps more PC divisions

Buhrmann claims five buyers lined up as it moves out of computers

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Buhrmann is to sell its computer division to raise cash to expand its office products business. The Dutch company is to offload the PC and peripherals distribution business for less than its 1.2 billion euros (£0.77 billion) annual sales. This move continues the theme of dropping links with PC industry when Buhrmann sold Info'Products to Compel last year. It is currently in talks with five potential buyers for the information systems arm, according to today's Financial Times. Buhrmann said it expected an agreement on a sale by the end of the year. The company is raising cash to fuel its office products acquisition strategy - it will also net $150 million from the sale of a third of its 20 per cent share of South African paper company Sappi. Buhrmann said it would continue to buy office products companies, naming Europe as its most likely target. It became the world's biggest office products supplier to business yesterday when it completed its $2.3 billion takeover of US company Corporate Express. Buhrmann, which went by the name of KNP-BT until last year, used to own UK reseller Info'Products. Earlier this year it sold the struggling Chelmsford-base Info'Products to Compel for £1. Compel took on £10 million of debt, in return for £28 million of net assets. ®

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