Sources close to the negotiations claimed a deal had been agreed between SHL and Action in which the mail-order operation would take on product fulfilment. The deal means SHL will retain its systems integration business, concentrating solely on outsourcing contracts, including management services and data warehousing.
One source said the sale comes after SHL had experienced a traumatic period over the past 12 months with its restructure. During the summer, the reseller made eight per cent of its UK staff redundant. Another source said: 'Things have been going downhill since MCI purchased it.'
According to the latest figures filed at Companies House for the period ended 31 December 1996, SHL Systemhouse Europe's turnover decreased 10 per cent to #69.1 million and made a pre-tax loss of #11.1 million, which was up 226 per cent for the same period in 1995.
Jonas Hjerpe, SHL Systemhouse marketing director, refused to comment but admitted SHL was 'refocusing on its SI business'.
SHL recently cut 200 jobs in North America, following US parent MCI's preparations for its merger with WorldCom (PC Dealer, 18 March). At the time, Mark Weeks, head of corporate communications at WorldCom, said: 'SHL is a successful business and will continue to be run as it is now.'
Action Computer Supplies is expected to announce its interim result for 26 weeks ended 27 February and the acquisition of SHL's box shifting business on 8 April.
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