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Fourteen Karma businesses have come together to create a $1 billion company in a joint MBO. The group of distributors, which includes Karma UK, signed the agreement to become Karma Group last weekend. The company now comprises Karma businesses in the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Dubai, Singapore and the UK. The company will be based in Switzerland, with its central administration in Istanbul and logistical support in the Netherlands. The group's executive board will be led by Gottfried Hackbarth. Patrick Matzinger will head up buying and operations. Consolidated sales would be around $1 billion for 1999, the company said. Karma was started in 1990, and was bought by CHS Electronics in 1997. After CHS ran into trouble earlier this year, the management of Karma UK, headed by MD Andy Chandler, bought the company from receivers BDO Stoy Hayward. Chandler said he was "thrilled" with the announcement. ®

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