Computacenter appeared to give its first clear indication of a proposed stock flotation this week in a deal which should raise about #1 billion for the corporate reseller.
The company originally tried to float in 1990 but pulled out when general conditions on the market deteriorated. The flotation, which is expected to happen this summer, would net about #300 million each for the company's two founders Peter Ogden and Philip Hulme.
Richard Holway, chairman of independent analyst firm Richard Holway, said: 'If I were Computacenter's corporate adviser, I'd say go now. The conditions will never be better.' Holway said the reseller has maintained good margins and excellent profitability as well as benefiting from its huge size.
Although press reports over the weekend included quotes from Computacenter chief executive Mike Norris saying 'we are thinking about it', the reseller issued a statement dampening speculation. The statement read: 'The company has no firm plans to make an announcement concerning the timing of a flotation, if indeed it decides to pursue this option.'
A representative at Computacenter said if the company did make such a move its main concern would be that the deal had a positive impact on its customers.
Meanwhile, Specialist Computer Holdings, owners of SCC and Byte, will acquire High Wycombe-based Preview Data Systems group for an undisclosed sum. The hardware and services company had turnover for the year ended 30 September 1997 of #15 million.
Heads of agreement were signed on 28 December 1997 and the deal should be completed by the end of January, subject to due diligence.
SCH has suffered a weaker financial year, according to accounts recently lodged at Companies House. Pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 March 1997 was #12 million, down from #16 million for 1996. This was despite an increase in turnover, from #318.4 million in 1996 to #440.7 million in 1997.
SCH chief executive Peter Rigby predicted growth for this year.
Automation firms UiPath and Automation Anywhere close out their funding rounds with $265m and $300m respectively
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View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
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