CHS Electronics' takeover of Merisel Europe subsidiaries will go through by the end of this month if two weeks of due diligence are completed without problems, according to insiders.
Sources suggest an agreement was struck between the distributors this weekend and that CHS is checking final details prior to making an announcement. Worried sales staff at both firms are already applying for jobs in the industry.
One industry source said: 'There is a two-week window for due diligence before the marriage. Sales managers are not sure of their jobs. It has all been agreed, but CHS needs to check the books to ensure everything works out.'
Richard North, MD of Merisel UK, refused to comment on Merisel's future.
One merger proposal being mooted would make CHS the hardware arm, absorbing Merisel's hardware lines, leaving Merisel as the software arm.
But such a move would anger vendors. One Merisel software vendor said:'Vendors would be very unhappy if it did that and there would be a lot of pressure to ensure it didn't.
'Software companies want distributors to sell their software with servers.
They wouldn't have access to server dealers if CHS divided up the business like that.'
Ongoing plans to restructure Merisel US continue as the distributor replaced its CFO James Brill with James Illson, a former national partner at accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche. Merisel president Ron Rittenmeyer said: 'Jim has had experience in restructuring.'
Verilyn Smith, president of Merisel Fab, the Computerland franchiser, is also leaving. Martin Fishman, MD of Merisel Switzerland will replace him.
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