The contest to buy the assets of mobile phone distributor Unique Distribution is hotting up, with Computer 2000 (C2000) believed to have thrown its hat in the ring.
Unique has been the subject of a management receivership order since January as part of HM Revenue and Customs’ investigation into its parent company, IGB.
The handset distributor made revenues of £556m last year but admits its business has been crushed by the probe. Management receiver Chantrey Vellacott’s application to sell the firm’s assets was cleared by a judge last Tuesday.
Andy Gass, managing director of Computer 2000, refused to confirm speculation the broadliner had bid for Unique’s assets.
But he told CRN: “I can confirm we have employed 16 sales staff from Unique and they form a significant part of our Brightstar operation.”
David Hinc, commercial director at Unique, said he was hopeful the receiver would accept one of three management buy out (MBO) bids on the table.
“The management team has tried to raise funds for an MBO and we have effectively got three parties that are talking terms with Chantrey Vellacott,” Hinc said.
“Our business has been stalled but no single competitor has been able to mop up the contracts we have. Our customers are very keen for us to get back to business as we tick all the boxes and they are having to go to three or four different suppliers for the whole package.”
Hinc said a nucleus of 45 staff have remained with the firm, despite having not been paid since the end of February. He claimed that only one vendor, Hutchison 3G, had officially served notice on the distributor.
Chantrey Vellacott’s David Ingram told CRN: “We are discussing the sale of the business with several interested parties and hope to conclude a sale in the next couple of days.”
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