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Paradise Computers goes titsup

Falls foul of HP over grey broking

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Paradise Computers has filed for insolvency, following a dispute with HP over grey broking. Telephone calls to the computer dealer's London office are met with hold music. The Birmingham office has an answerphone which no-one appears to be answering.

According to industry sources, HP and police officers raided the company earlier this year after allegations of trademark infringement and grey importing.

In early August, HP UK issued a High Court writ claiming £2.2m from Paradise. The dealer failed to secure a settlement schedule, falling foul of HP's new tougher line against unauthorised trading in the channel. On Monday, the company filed for a Company Voluntary Arrangement, an agreement between a company and its creditors, which is overseen by an insolvency practioner. This is perhaps the "mildest" form of insolvency, under UK law, as it gives the bust firm most say in how it re-organises its affairs. But dissenting creditors can always apply to the court for receivership or administration, which gives them the whip hand in pay-outs.

Paradise Computers was a well-regarded firm. One channel source said: "They had a good HP franchise and a decent reputation."

It is an HP business partner, a partner choice reseller for IBM, an accredited partner for 3Com and a reseller for Cisco, Toshiba, Microsoft and Sun.

The Sunday Times included Paradise in its Fast Track 100 chart of fastest growing UK companies. The Independent on Sunday made it eighth fastest growing company in the UK in 2003. The company was formed in 1990 and boasted turnover of £170m.

Its website has a host of customer testimonials including one from BT Retail: "Paradise have proved to be very competitive and this has not been at the expense of service. Not only have they managed to deliver the correct products within extremely difficult deadlines but have also kept us fully informed of progress... I have no hesitation in recommending this company to other prospective customers."

If anyone from Paradise would like to get in touch please email us at the usual address. ®

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