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Ideal to split from parent group

InterX to concentrate on Internet side of business

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Ideal Hardware and parent company InterX are to split due to the incompatibility of the group's Web and distribution businesses. InterX said today it would become an Internet-only business made up of its product information service IT Network and its 34 per cent stake in Cromwell Media. Ideal will stick to distribution, with plans to grow into a pan-European business. At the moment InterX does not know whether it is an Internet company or a distributor, sources said. The two are incompatible, but both need huge amounts of cash to go forward. In addition, all Ideal's profits are currently being ploughed into developing the IT Network. This will continue until the separation of the two parts, which is expected to be completed in the next six months. "We want Ideal to get a lot bigger than it is, and very quickly," said James Wickes, InterX CEO. He added that the distributor would be looking to find other companies to merge with. "What we can't do is drag along two Internet businesses with it," said Wickes. InterX can no longer run as a half Internet, half distributor business. Wickes said the split would give more clarity to InterX in the eyes of investors. "Initially InterX will be IT Network and Cromwell Media, but we want to leverage our expertise in product information to other vertical markets." According to Wickes, this could be "anything from watches through to cars". As for Ideal, the company looks likely to float as a separate company and grow into Europe by acquisition, sources said. ® Related stories: Ideal appoints new FD Profit slips as Ideal looks to services

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