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GE Cap sheds 200 jobs at ITS

Former P&P division turns its back on distribution

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GE Capital is to cut around 200 jobs from its UK distribution/VAR arm, formerly P&P, and move into services. The US-based company said it was in a three-month consultation period with staff in the division, which has been re-named ITS (Information Technology Services). Part of the proposal involves the company quitting the distribution business to concentrate on value added services, said Craig Kershaw, associate director of European PR at GE Capital. GE Capital is also looking at developing the Internet business of the division – which is currently a distributor for PCs, servers, software and networking products. "The business has announced it is entering a consultation period," Kershaw said. "We will be discussing the alternatives with all the employees at ITS and a range of options are being considered." One plan to be discussed involves moving the ITS business to one main location near its customer base in South London, with smaller regional offices in Scotland and the North. ITS currently has around 750 staff in the UK, with most of the workforce understood to be at Rossendale, Lancashire. The aim is to chop this number to 500, according to Kershaw. He was unsure if existing or new premises would be used for the relocation. ITS also has offices in Aldwych, London, and Burgess Hill, south of London. Kershaw was unable to say if any offices would be closing, or what the new services focus would involve, for fear of "subverting the consultation period". Earlier this year, GE Capital announced a deal to outsource its configuration, assembly and logistics in the US to Tech Data. This was believed to be worth around $2 billion to distributor Tech Data. GE Capital bought P&P from Skillsgroup in January 1998 for £11 million, taking on its £15 million debt. ®

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