The duo had been working together on what was formerly known as the Becta ICT Services Framework One for the past nine months and Tribune said the deal would round out its education portfolio.
The agreement includes Bolton-based Zentek's 30 staff and customer contracts. Zentek is known to have significant outstanding debts with several distributors but its liabilities were not included in the deal.
Graeme Bower, director of delivery and operations at Tribune, said he had been working closely with the distributors involved but stressed the liabilities were being handled by Zentek's accountants, Parsons & Co.
"I have spoken to all of them directly," he said. "We are trying to work with them where we can to utilise future business with them but there is not much we can do looking backwards as it is not our liability. We are a rapidly growing business with rapid growth targets."
Founded in 1993, Tribune moved into the desktop virtualisation space in 2005 and counts education as its core vertical market. Zentek is completely focused on education.
Bower said Zentek's focus on technologies such as interactive whiteboards and digital signage would give it more clout with schools. Zentek was on lots one and two of the Becta framework (which has since been renamed as the Department for Education ICT Services framework), with Tribune on lot one only.
"We had been partnering on bids for a number of new Academy projects," Bower said. "Through that process it became abundantly clear there were huge synergies between the two firms and that we would benefit from merging."
Bower was not able to confirm Zentek itself is to be liquidated and said only Parsons & Co could answer whether or not the business was independently valued before its sale. "My understanding is that that is the case," he said.
"The good news is that we have taken on all 30 staff, all of whom were at risk," Bower added.
One distribution source, who wished to remain anonymous, said Zentek's directors still had questions to answer.
"A lot of distributors are very unhappy with the situation," said the source. "Zentek has yet to go into liquidation but we are expecting it to happen soon. Creditors want to know the terms of the sale, how much was paid and where the money went."
Ian Parsons of Parsons & Co was not available at the time this article was published.
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