Networking magnate Jens Montanana is negotiating to buy distributor Data Guardian, prompting speculation that he plans to set up a 'mini Azlan' holding company in the UK.
Montanana owns a stake in Warrington-based remote access distributor Volante. A group described as 'Volante shareholders' bought training company Inform three weeks ago for an undisclosed sum. It is understood that a deal with Data Guardian is imminent and signatures are expected in the next two weeks.
Clive Cooper, joint MD of Data Guardian, admitted the company was in discussions with Montanana, but refused to comment further.
Richard Jackson, MD of Volante, refused to comment on the Data Guardian deal because discussions were at a delicate stage, but said his firm was looking at various ways of expanding. 'Jens Montanana is the catalyst for these expansions, which will be formalised in the next two months.'
An industry source said Volante, Data Guardian and Inform would be a nice fit. 'Data Guardian has a wider range of products, a bigger customer base and higher turnover than Volante, but Volante has specialist knowledge of the Internet and intranet markets,' he said.
One source close to Montanana confirmed he had more than one deal planned and admitted 'putting all his UK networking interests together in some way would fit with that strategy.'
According to Data Guardian's year-end figures of December 1995, the company had a turnover of u9 million, a profit of u300,000 and a net worth of u260,000.
Most industry estimates value the distributor at between u4 million and u5 million based on historic profits, including a goodwill amount for its well-established name and such business as its huge Motorola account.
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