A management buyout (MBO) at Merisel UK has been touted as an option for the distributor, which is expected to make a decision within the next few days about which parts of its business to sell.
Although sources said CHS Electronics and ETC are still the most attractive bidders, an MBO led by recently recruited MD Richard North would allow Merisel to off-load its UK business without selling to a traditional competitor.
'The only reason North would go back to the company with problems would be for an MBO,' said one source close to Merisel. 'But they have kept the dealings secret in recent days as it gets closer to decision time.'
Another source was sure CHS or ETC will buy Merisel subsidiaries. 'The money that Merisel would raise from an MBO would not be enough to help them out of trouble. The UK is the jewel of Merisel Europe and Merisel would never justify such a low return to the shareholders,' he said.
Susan Stillings, director of investor relations at Merisel US, would not comment on any impending announcements.
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