Time Computers' claim to be the UK's largest specialist PC retailer was called into question as the ownership of its concessions was hanging in the balance.
As revealed in PC Dealer last week, Office Depot was poised to buy the UK operation of Office World, throwing Time's 56 concessions in Office World stores into uncertainty.
With the in-store concessions, Time's store count is 120, making it the UK's largest PC retailer.
A source at Tiny, which would inherit the mantle of largest specialist PC retailer, said: 'The concessions for Time are important. They account for nearly half of its stores. If Office Depot kick it out, it will be a huge blow.'
A representative for Time responded: 'At the moment, we have had nothing confirmed from Office World. Until we have, we cannot comment.'
Eric Born, managing director of Office World, admitted it was in discussions with several third parties but no binding agreements had been signed with any firm.
He added Office World had made a profit of about #4 million in the year ended 31 December 1998.
The proposed offer for Office World from Office Depot is seen as a bid to expand its global operation, currently standing at more than 712 stores.
Office World opened 57 stores in December 1998.
Jeremy Davies, senior analyst at Context, said: 'If Office Depot comes over, it will probably use its US business model. The retail environment in the States is far more cut-throat, which breeds a more efficient business strategy.'
The acquisition spotlight has been on Office Depot following rumours that it was to buy arch-rival, CompUSA.
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