IBM RS/6000 distributor Bytech Systems is understood to have received several purchase offers for its business, throwing its planned stock market flotation into confusion.
According to sources, Bytech is believed to be considering its options after holding talks with up to three potential purchasers. US-based RS/6000 distributor Hall-Mark, a division of electronics distributor Avnet, has been linked with Bytech as a means for the US company to enter the UK market.
A source close to the negotiations said: ?It?s been more or less common knowledge that Bytech is up for sale for some weeks. The rumours are that Hall-Mark wants Bytech to provide it with a foothold in Europe, and it would certainly make sense.?
Hall-Mark recently concluded a value-pricing relationship with IBM last month, in a parallel deal with its parent company Avnet. Under the terms of the deal, Hall-Mark will be eligible for discounts of up to 14 per cent more than other distributors on RS/6000 kit if it provides software, service and support. Hall-Mark sales of RS/6000 kit generated $86 million in turnover in 1996, according to the company?s senior vice president of business development, Ed Kamin.
Software and systems house JBA Holdings ? which is one of IBM?s core AS/400 resellers ? has also been put forward as a potential purchaser of Bytech. JBA has made no secret of its acquisition plans and two weeks ago bought French AS/400 distributor Presys SA (PC Dealer, 30 April).
David Williams, group financial director of JBA Holdings, said: ?We?ve made no formal approach and there?s been no discussion.?
Bytech Systems announced in January that it was looking for multimillion pound City investment to equip itself to compete in Europe. At the time, Bytech MD Ken Moss said the distributor was expected to float in January 1998 on the UK Stock Exchange. Moss was unavailable for comment.
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