Persona's plan for European expansion has been scuppered following the last minute breakdown of acquisition talks with #45 million Dutch networking distributor Landis.
Negotiations had reached the due diligence stage and the failure was compounded as rival Azlan succeeded in a similar deal when it bought Rotterdam-based Akam International Holding for about #30 million.
One source claimed the Persona Group had put in an offer of about #20 million for Landis, which has operations in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
'The wheels fell off when Persona looked in detail and found certain anomalies between their original impression and the reality,' he said.
Landis chairman Paul Kaikan confirmed he had been in talks with Persona, but refused to give a reason for the breakdown. 'We were in negotiations, but they ceased a couple of weeks ago, and are extremely unlikely to be renewed.'
Wayne Channon, chairman of the Persona Group, refused to comment on the firm's talks with Landis, but said: 'German expansion is a major objective for us.'
Azlan chairman Christian Martin said the failure of the Landis deal was a bonus for his firm. 'Azlan's strategy has always been to get in there first and dominate,' he said. 'If Persona have to start another deal from scratch it could take nine months before they are a threat in those countries.'
Azlan UK product marketing manager Geoff Brough will run Akam Belgium and Holland for the first six months, overseeing its integration into Azlan (PC Dealer, 20 November).
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