Merisel has stated to US authorities that its negotiations with a potential buyer for all or part of its European businesses are off.
But sources claim CHS is still in the running to buy or merge with Merisel territories (PC Dealer, 3 July). When asked about Merisel last week, CHS CFO Craig Toll said: 'We have made a lot of acquisitions in the past but I will make no comment on specific acquisitions.'
Merisel chairman Dwight Steffensen will receive a bonus of $200,000 if more than 50 per cent of Merisel Europe is sold, or a $990,000 payment if the whole company is acquired.
CEO and president Ron Rittenmeyer claimed the bonus is not an incentive to sell the company but is designed to protect Steffensen if Merisel is sold and he loses his job as a result. But this will not deter him from selling Merisel Europe. If Merisel is not sold and meets its targets, Steffensen can take a quarterly bonus of up to $126,250.
The details are included in official documents filed with US authorities which reveal Steffensen earns $505,000, and Rittenmeyer $355,000.
Merisel also pays both executives' monthly car allowances of $1,600 plus country club expenses of $425 but neither can work for a Merisel competitor within three years of leaving.
Other sources claim Ingram Micro and Persona are bidding for Merisel Germany. Ingram UK MD Bill Gretton made no comment, but sources suggest the US parent is negotiating with Merisel and its financial adviser Merill Lynch.
Another source said Persona has a presence in France after buying Toplog and wants to expand into Germany. Persona and Merisel representatives had made no comment as PC Dealer went to press.
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