The bidding war for troubled audiovisual (AV) distributor Owl Visual Systems was on the verge of closing as CRN went to press.
Owl, which has about 25 employees, told CRN it is restructuring its business, but hopes to continue trading after appointing a consultancy to sound out potential buyers.
A company representative told CRN last Thursday: “Owl is definitely
being bought by another company and will continue trading. Two firms have shown
an interest and we hope to know the outcome today.”
The East Sussex-based distributor also recently lost a key projector franchise with NEC (CRN, 13 April).
Industry watchers claim Owl has been hit hard by a steep decline in the projector market in quarter four. Jon Sidwick, managing director of Maverick, agreed. “There is rapid commoditisation of the projector market, which puts an incredible amount of pressure on specialists. I imagine there will be a number of interested parties from the non-AV sector.”
Darren Lewitt, divisional director for AV at Midwich, voiced support for his rival. “I do not want Owl to disappear because we need speciality distributors in the market. If there is a buyer, it would have to be someone who feels there are incremental opportunities for them.”
Nitin Joshi, founder of advisory service ChannelMoney, said: “We saw a large
AV distributor go bust last year and there has to be a question mark over the
feasibility of AV distribution this year.”
Sidwick agreed that Owl’s restructuring would “put the credit squeeze” on the whole AV sector.
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