Directors at PC builder Stone Computers have completed a £20m management buy-out (MBO) of the company from its managing director.
The firm manufactures PCs primarily for the public and education sectors, partnering with vendors such as Microsoft, Samsung and Intel. It told CRN the MBO will give it enough clout to enter the private-sector market.
Nick Carlson, marketing manager at Stone, said: "This will give Stone Computers more focus. Each of the directors had their own specialist market before, and will bring this to the management of the company."
Carlson added that the firm has an estimated value of £41m. Any expansion into the private sector will help it increase manufacturing levels and sales, and could see it develop relationships in the channel, he said.
"If we target the private sector it will be through the Home Computing Initiative. But we would have to develop distributor or reseller agreements as part of that growth," he said.
"We are a bigger competitor now. Tier-one vendors such as Dell are beginning to sit up and take notice of Stone."
Stone manufactures about 45,000 PCs each year. Carlson said it has no plans for redundancies following the MBO.
"Acquisitions are on the cards to enable Stone to grow and evolve. We are beginning to focus activity on certain other market areas," he added.
In 2001 Stone agreed to pay Microsoft a six-figure sum as an out-of-court settlement after being charged with selling pirated software. At the time Stone defended itself by claiming it was duped into believing the copies of Windows 98 it was selling were genuine.
Eddie Pacey, director of credit services at Bell Microproducts Europe, said the MBO team has made a smart move.
"Stone has been extremely profitable and has a concentrated focus on a lucrative market. If you look at its sales growth, it has managed to win business from some larger vendors because of its high-quality product and services," he said.
MSP plans to use new acquisition to expand its security offerings
Reseller also saw its operating profit fall five per cent in its financial 2017
Wendy Bahr to bring 18-year spell at networking giant to an end
AdEPT says latest purchase will push revenue beyond £50m