Europa IT mops up rest of Karma

Unveils new trading name

Europa IT this week announced the acquisition of several country operations of Karma, the European hard drive distie - and a new trading name for the business. The group now claims an annual turnover of $1bn, making it Europe's tenth biggest IT distribution group.

Europa IT was formed by MBO last year from the remnants of the European subsidiaries of CHS, for a short time the world's second biggest IT distie - before it went bust. Karma, one of Europe's biggest disties for the system builder market, was also a CHS acquisition.

Since the collapse of CHS, most Karma country units have operated as autonomous businesses, under the Karma banner.

Joining the Europa IT fold over the next 60 days are Karma, Switzerland, UK, Benelux, Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia and Dubai. The IT distribution outfit is also seeking group buying agreements with wholesalers (mostly ex-Karma offices) in non-competing territories. And it is to set up a greenfield operation in Germany.

Europa IT businesses will use the SMG brand name - as will Europa IT's existing corporate distribution businesses in France and the Nordic Region.

Europa IT already operates in Scandinavia as SMG (as in Santech Micro Group, another CHS acquisition), where the name has a "leading position".

The Karma business will form the heart of a "low-cost central purchasing service (Central Services Group) for high volume products that are common across the platform" - in other words, hard drives, motherboards, monitors etc.

Revenues for this operation are forecast at $500m by the end of next year. And running the show
is Andy Chandler, formerly MD of the UK operations for Karma, has been appointed as General Manager for the new business. ®