Pan-European distributor Actebis is withdrawing from the UK market on the back of declining sales.
Rumours are also rampant that parent company Otto Group, which recently closed Actebis’ Spanish arm and sold its Italian subsidiary, is plotting to sell the remaining European business.
However Roger Mather, managing director of Actebis UK who will stay at the firm until the end of June, said there would be no sale of the UK arm, despite the business being solvent.
“It has been decided that the [Actebis] Group has better opportunities for investment in emerging markets rather than making the major acquisition in the UK required to give us the critical mass needed to be successful,” he said. “In a consolidating market where A-brands are taking an ever increasing market share, being small and focused meant we did not have a viable business proposition for the future.”
He added the firm would honour all warranties for “as long as it takes”.
Joe Hemani, chairman of rival distributor Westcoast, said: “I don’t believe that Actebis Holdings really saw the UK as a very strategic part of the organisation so this withdrawal does not surprise me.”
Eddie Pacey, director of credit at Bell Microproducts, said: “This is another blow to the distribution model. There is either consolidation or dissipation of firms that can’t make the grade.”
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