Lancashire-based dealership Skillsgroup will focus on IT training and consultancy and on providing mid-range software and networking services for Unix and NT enterprise systems, following the sale to GE Capital.
The move fulfills Skillgroup's aim of operating solely within the high-margin end of the computer industry. When the firm reported flat profits for the period to 31 May 1997, it blamed the lacklustre performance on a depressed European PC market. That statement seemed to confirm a need to move out of the reseller market and focus on its higher margin businesses.
Using its recently acquired purse - which has subsequently been topped up by the sale of its Swedish operation, Nordic Datadistribution AB, to Atle AB for #10.2 million - Skillsgroup intends to expand on its consultancy arm, QA Training, and Acuma, the enterprise service business.
Nick Melvin, Skillsgroup's marketing director, said there was no specific list of possible acquisitions, but the firm has a very clear desire to invest in businesses which work in these areas.
The company has also disclosed its plan to sell off the Belgian arm of P&P, but refused to name any potential candidates.
Although Skillsgroup has now relinquished control of P&P, it will continue to enjoy an indirect relationship with the unit through a number of joint ventures with GE Capital. The two will be teaming up on various corporate level deals, in particular where Skillsgroup's systems integration business includes a desktop requirement. It will use GE to fulfil any such large-scale needs.
'Both QA and Acuma will provide additional support to contracts that GE Capital win,' Melvin added.
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