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Avnet plans European invasion

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Avnet ACC was among the companies making announcements at this year's Computer Trade Show in Birmingham. The US giant shipped over its president, Ed Kamins, to tell journalists the company was looking to buy companies in Europe to expand its empire, which now includes UK distributor Flashpoint. Flashpoint has been renamed Avnet Applied Computing Components (ACC), and Avnet's PC component business in Stevenage is being merged into Flashpoint's Slough offices. Former Flashpoint MD Sukh Rayat has been promoted to Western European MD for Avnet ACC and will head the operation. The takeover added Intel to Flashpoint's product list for the first time. Kamins said Avnet would be setting up a second section of the company in Europe called Applied Computing Solutions. It will be scouting for distributors or Vars to buy over the next year -- preferably companies involved in the server or commercial PC business. When asked if he had his eye on anyone in the UK, Kamins replied: "Yes, but we are not on the verge of an announcement. We are in very, very preliminary conversations." According to Kamins: "We expect to be in Europe by the middle of this year, and to be a pan-European company within 18 months." The company has spent over $1 billion on acquisitions in the last two years. AMD was out in full force for the announcement yesterday, and presented Flashpoint with its "UK PC Distributor for 1999" award. However, AMD top management laughed off claims that they were worried about Intel now being included in Flashpoint's offerings. ® Related stories Flashpoint marshalled by Avnet troops Flashpoint's Rayat upgraded to MD

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