SCH buys Info'Products Europe

Massive move by Birmingham's finest

SCH, Britain's second biggest reseller, is taking a huge leap onto the European stage, with the acquisition of Info'products Europe from Burhmann, the Dutch paper group. Info'products has annual sales of 1.6bn euros and operates as eight units in six countries. The company is the biggest reseller in France and the Netherlands, and has subsidiaries in Germany, Belgium, Spain and Italy. In October last year, Burhmann announced it had five potential buyers lined up for its IT business. The information systems division also comprises Bestware, a Dutch distributor and Staris described as an "Internet fulfilment organisation" aimed at SMEs. Through the deal, privately-held SCH more than doubles in size in turnover from £600 million to £1.4 billion, and in staff, to 4000. The group's reseller arm, Specialist Computer Centres, trebles in size. In a memo to SCH staff, chairman Peter Rigby said the company expected to take full control of Burhmann's information systems businesses at the end of March. It will operate the businesses through a company called Specialist Computers International and it will retain the trading names of each of the businesses. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Rigby sum its up, we think, when he said: "This is a major move for any business, let alone a privately owned business which generates and manages its own cash flow and investments and which has to deliver a profitable and well run business in order to survive let alone to prosper." ® Related story Former Info'P owner dumps more PC divisions

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