Tulip Computers UK has been dragged down by its Dutch parent's collapse as administrators have been called into the UK offices.
Deloitte and Touche was appointed as administrators of Tulip UK on 5 May. Previously, the organisation had hoped it would be avoided as Neal Grayston, MD of Tulip UK, claimed it had been trading profitably. Tony Underhill, financial director at Tulip UK, added that the manufacturer had a record quarter, high stock levels and money in the bank (PC Dealer, 29 April).
A source close to Tulip had suggested that the UK operation was in such good shape it would go it alone.
A statement from Nick Dargan, partner of Deloitte and Touche, said: 'We are in close communication with our Dutch counterparts who have expressed optimism regarding a successful sale of the Tulip operation as a whole.
They are in serious negotiations with four interested parties.'
Grayston added that no Tulip employees would be dismissed until the position in Holland had become clearer.
The collapse has also left Tulip's most recent acquisition, Commodore, in an uncertain position. It is rapidly becoming the old maid of the industry as once again it finds itself on the shelf, in the same position as when its previous owner Escom went bust.
Sarah Mckee, marketing manager at Commodore, said: 'Everyone has been sent home at Commodore. I got a fax on Friday (2 May) informing me my services would no longer be needed. I feel I've been given the cold shoulder.
As far as I know, it's all in the melting pot for sale.'
Tim Hanchet, MD of Tulip reseller Ibex, said: 'I am horrified. Tulip is the only brand I stock. I suppose I'm looking for a new vendor.'
However, Philip O'Neal, MD of CVSI, added: 'It won't affect us too badly.
There is such a choice of vendors, and the margins on hardware are so thin it's easy to move vendor.'
Emmanuel Lalloz, analyst at Context, said: 'Tulip over-stretched itself. It expanded too quickly when margins on PCs were going down and stock management and logistics were important. It invested a lot in a manufacturing plant and in Commodore. It was the wrong time.'
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