The Incredible Shrinking Merisel

Channel Flannel

Once upon a time, Merisel was the world's second biggest IT products distributor. Years of cutbacks has seen the company retrench, first to North America, and now to Canada only.

It is firing 200 staff, winding down distribution activities in US over the next 90 days and will in future restrict itself to flogging software licences to resellers. This is intended to restore the company to profitability.

Merisel will retain its 'dominant' hardware distribution business in Canada - but for how long? The company became too puny to compete in US hardware distribution. All it needs would be for the big distie guns to train their sights on Canada and, pretty quickly, Merisel will look too puny to compete there.



Xbidit, the UK channel auction site set up by Alistair Handyside, has opened its doors for business with 14 lots worth £350k up for grabs. The company has validated 600 reseller accounts, from 1,000 applications, Handyside told Microscope.



Northamber has begun a share buyback with the purchase of 45,000 of its own ordinary shares today at 105p each. This represents 0.14 per cent of the share capital. Small potatoes perhaps, but the company has authority, obtained from shareholders on November 10, to buy up to 10 per cent of the issued share capital.


Azlan has promoted Freddie Jones, currently in charge of the company's training business, to UK MD. He replaces Richard Pryor-Jones who takes charge of Azlan's European operations.



Ingram Micro has won channel assembly rights for Compaq Presario retail lines. The distie will build the kit from its Dutch factory, Microscope reports.



Lason Group, a US document processing house is putting its UK subsidiary, formerly called M-R Group, up for sale. The company intends to use the proceeds to 'deleverage its balance sheet'. ®

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