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'Grey tech' broker DP Data Systems has gone titsup

Vowed to go clean rather than shut up shop. Shuts up shop

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DP Data Systems has given up the ghost just months after committing to quit the grey market in favour of “authorised” tech.

The company’s website stated, “Sorry we have now ceased trading”. Suppliers and customers were then directed to email addresses of the firm's accounts and credit control departments respectively.

Back in March, bossman Steve McKeever told us the firm was not shutting up shop, but was going to “instead focus our attention and energies in the authorised channel”.

But it seems that once the grey market element of his organisation was closed, what remained was not deemed a viable standalone operation. We called the MD this week but he has not answered his phone.

DP Data had wholesaled HPE and HP Inc, Cisco, Juniper, Lenovo and Huawei, among others. It is possible DP was told by one of the vendors to stop buying grey.

We put this to McKeever months back and also asked him what proportion of his total revenues came from selling "grey". He didn’t answer either point.

Tech firms have come down hard on companies importing such products. Cisco canned suppliers from its network and HP Inc has taken firms to court.

Definitions of grey market kit vary but generally it is considered to be technology sourced from outside the European Economic Area.

Firms brokering tech haven’t had a great time of late - even though vendors are trying to find avenues to make kit in certain territories "disappear", the margins on offer are thin.

The UK’s largest grey trader, Gamma Global, went into administration last year after running out of cash, as we exclusively revealed.

DP's fiscal ’15 accounts were well overdue, according to Companies House, but in fiscal ’14 the business had a reasonable enough year, growing sales 6.6 per cent to £52.7m, as operating profit went up 55 per cent to £858,000. ®

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