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EuropaIT exits PC biz in France

Seeks buyer

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EuropaIT has given up the fight to turnaround its French PC distribution business. The privately-owned company has also hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to explore options, including restructure around profitable elements, or a sale of some or all of the company's assets. It says it will make a decision on its future in the next few weeks.

Three French legal entities, Metrologie SA, CHS France and Europe du Sud, were placed into receivership on January 30, and are continuing to operate while a buyer is sought.

Metrologie Systems, the part of the group which handles servers and enterprise storage, is unaffected by the announcement. And operations in the Nordic region and Eastern Europe are safe "as there are no inter-group guaranties related to the French PC business".

EuropaIT is in effect a management buyout of the bulk of the European operations of CHS Electronics, now defunct, but for a short while the world's second biggest computer distributor.

The company says it was unable to "make up for the very weak capital base of the PC business, inherited from the previous owner, CHS Electronics Inc", despite vendor support and "superhuman" efforts from French management. Turnover is currently $1bn making the business one of Europe's top six IT distributors. ®

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