Kelway's American owners to import CDW International brand to UK

Brit brand set to disappear on 4 April

Philip Kelway Doye's middle name will disappear from his firm's corporate HQ on 4 April and be replaced with CDW International, its American parent’s brand for global ops.

CDW, which sells IT to 10 million SMBs in the US and turns over in excess of $50m a day, acquired Kelway in August last year for $431m and is assimilating the business gradually.

Laying the Kelway brand to rest was always on the cards, though sources had expected the revamp to take place this month rather than next.

So it will be an emotional day for CEO and founder Doye and some of the other senior leaders at Kelway, 25 years after the company was set up in Forest Gate with a £15,000 investment.

The business started out selling anything and everything from printer ribbons to whatever the customer asked for.

For fiscal year 2015, ended 31 March, turnover nearly hit £600m, up double digits in percentage terms on the prior year. The company sells a full range of infrastructure and software as well as providing myriad tech services.

Kelway, along with recently IPO'd Softcat, is partially responsible for something of a renaissance in mid-market reselling that has contributed to a feel-good factor in the channel. At least, that is what other business owners have repeatedly told us.

The brand is taken from 16th century landowner and philanthropist Sir John Kelway, who created a trust for future generations – but it could only be used by families that agreed to adopt and keep Kelway as their middle name. ®

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