The acquisition of online reseller Dabs.com may occur within the next month with Dixons Stores Group (DSG) and US e-tailer CDW believed to be the front runners.
CRN has also learnt that BT may be in the frame. Following months of increasingly intense speculation, a source close to Dabs confirmed that a sale is now imminent. Many firms have been linked with the acquisition over the past months, including eBuyer, Comet and e-tailers TigerDirect and newegg.com. However, DSG's purchase of Pixmania last week may have dampened speculation regarding any purchase by it of Dabs.
One source, who requested anonymity, said: “It would make perfect sense for DSG to buy Dabs, because it would complete its online strategy and sew up the market for it.”
However, Stewart Hayward, commercial director at e-tailer WStore, said: “I would question why DSG would be interested because the move would replicate what it already has and adds nothing to [its business]. If DSG were to acquire Dabs it would only be to strengthen its customer base as well as its online presence.”
Jeremy Davies, senior partner at analyst Context, said: “It is a difficult environment for Dabs. There is a lot more competition, especially with Dixons going heavily into online.
“If it is going to sell, it is unlikely Dixons will go for it. CDW does have the scale to make it work and Continental Europe does have a lot of opportunity for US firms selling outside their home market.”
Davies said the concept of BT buying Dabs would be “bizarre”, but he said “stranger things have happened in the industry”.
Dabs, CDW and DSG declined to comment as CRN went to press.
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