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A new distributor is born in Europe - and it starts on day one as Europe's fourth biggest. Called Europa.IT, it has sprung into life with the takeover of the former subsidiaries of CHS in Europe.

Headquartered in London, Europa.IT has bought the subsidiaries from CHS Electronics, the Miami company which is in liquidation under Chapter 11.

The subs which had sales of $1.8 billion in 1999 have been bought for $1.1 million cash, $35 million in four year notes and 35 per cent of the shares of Europa.IT. Management, who include former Metrologie UK boss Robert Mountain, hold 65 per cent of the company.

Europa.IT kicks off with operations in nine European countries: France, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Slovakia, Croatia, and Czech Republic. A 49 per cent interest in a 10th European subsidiary, Kventa (Hungary), is expected to close within 30
days.

Europa.IT has also acquired CHS-owned Karma International, which has a legal claim against several of its former subsidiaries. And it has the right to purchase the Baltic subsidiaries of CHS if a sale to a third party is "not completed within 30 days".

Mark Keough, President and CEO of Europa.IT, said: "The closing of this transaction marks the end of an arduous year-long effort to rescue valuable distribution businesses from the financial distress that engulfed CHS Electronics, the parent company.

"Following the court decision in July to sell these businesses to us, the entire management team has worked night and day to get back to normal trading. We have made tremendous progress in this regard over the past several weeks and are confident about the future."

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