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Accounting errors torpedo Lynx Group

Restructure plans

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The finance director of Lynx Group's IT distribution business has resigned after £5 million-worth of accounting errors - something to do with accruals - were discovered.

This is a hefty blow, considering that it represents half of the already poor profits the company expected to announce for its next interims on 23 November.

There is also very little fat - the group had cash balances of just £500,000 at 30 September.

So the company is to restructure in a move that will see it transform itself from a channel conglomerate into a mini-Misys, concentrating on the banking, insurance and IFA sector. Turnover for this core business is just over £50 million a year.

The group is to demerge Lynx Commercial Systems, the UK's biggest Sage reseller and a top ten UK SAP reseller, before April 2001, the end of the tax year.

With unaudited turnover of £26 million for 2000, Lynx Commercial Systems - to be renamed Ascent - is worth £50 million, according to Lynx Group.

More problematic is the IT distribution business, now up for sale. Lynx says it is actively pursuing ways of maximising shareholder value for a division which turns over £100 million, or thereabouts, a year.

Unfortunately for shareholders, it is very much a buyers' market. Ideal Hardware, a much bigger distribution outfit, was sold recently for £18 million recently (although its previous owner, InterX got to keep the freehold of the Ideal HQ and warehouse, sold yesterday for £16 million).

Last and least Lynx has an automotive IT systems. It turnsover £16 million and it's breaking even.
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