Dixons Stores Group has speeded up its search for a mail-order computer company to buy and is expected to enter the cut throat off-the-page market at the end of October.
The high street giant has so far held exploratory talks with the biggest names in mail-order business to business sales - Watford Electronics, Software Warehouse, Action Computer Supplies - and has been rejected by Simply Computers.
Dixons wants a mail-order arm to build on the growth of PC World's sales to businesses and increase its buying power with suppliers. Nick Cadbury, finance manager for PC World, is leading the team investigating the mail-order companies. Dixons is serious about an acquisition but is also approaching the businesses to get inside information on the market.
Steve Bennett, MD of Software Warehouse, said his business was not up for sale. "We had a talk with Dixons but decided not to take it further." Software Warehouse is on target for sales of u40 million this year.
Nazir Jessa, MD of Watford Electronics, was cautious about takeover talks: "When the right suitor comes along, I'll certainly give it my consideration."
Dixons chairman Stanley Kalms will get u865,000 this year, including a performance bonus of u236,000. He turned down a u100,000 bonus last year but now feels that as Dixons has had its best-ever year, directors' pay should reflect that.
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