Softline resells Rapid Group to original owner

Divestment programme

Softline AG has sold Rapid Group, the UK reseller group, to original owner John McCartney.

Terms were undisclosed in November 2000 when it bought the business, and terms are undisclosed now that it's sold the business.

German-based Softline is divesting Rapid Group following a strategic review announced in June to restore the group to profitability in a weak market. Upshot - it's retreating around core distribution activities - it's keeping its mostly Mac distie, Softline UK.

McCartney who stayed on the helm of Rapid after its purchase by Softline, expressed delight at owning the company again.

"The past 24 months have seen some of the worst trading times for resellers across Europe and the growth of our company slow to a stop. This MBO gives us the opportunity to reinvest in our business to ensure a bright and profitable long-term future."

Rapid Group operates three branches in the South East, and sells both PCs and Macs. The company went on an acquisition splurge in the 90s, buying up Applecentres around the UK. At time of its sale to Softline, the company claimed a turnover of €27m. Current revenues are undisclosed.

Rapid employs approx. 60 employees, down from a peak of 100. ®