Systemax has sold off its unprofitable European Technology Products Group - home of Misco UK - to Hilco Capital, a specialist in restructuring "stressed and distressed" businesses, and former Selection Services CEO Alan Cantwell.
In a press statement released last night, Systemax said it would retain its "highly profitable" operations in France, adding that the transaction closed on Friday.
Cantwell and Hilco executed the deal for an undisclosed sum.
The news ends months of speculation about the fate of the UK reseller, with rumours of a sale intensifying in January when Systemax formally closed its European Technology Business entity on Companies House, as CRN revealed.
In February, Systemax's CEO Larry Reinhold used LinkedIn to hail "tremendous" initiatives under way at the company's three offices in Weybridge, Wellingborough and Watford.
In a statement about the sale, he thanked staff at the firm.
"In the past year we have significantly streamlined our company by exiting non-strategic and underperforming operations, positioning us to focus on our profitable and growing business segments," he said.
"Ourbusiness, which was our largest operation in , is highly successful and has historically operated largely autonomously from our other European operations. It is a well-managed and valuable asset with leading market share, double-digit revenue growth and strong bottom-line performance.
"We believe that we have found a good home for our former colleagues in. We thank them for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours. With a simplified and focused operating footprint and a strong cash position, we are well positioned to continue executing on our strategic plan and drive the performance and value of our businesses for our shareholders."
For the full year ending 31 December, Systemax posted a GAAP net loss from continuing operations of $7.9m (£6.4m), which narrowed from $48.3m a year ago. Consolidated sales for the full year were down 9.4 per cent to $1.7bn.
In Q4, the European Technology Products Group recorded sales of $238.1m, down 16.5 per cent year on year, while for the full year its revenue was $960m, down 8.7 per cent on the same basis.
Hilco Capital specialises in restructuring services for businesses and insolvency practitioners, and invests in "stress situations" throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. It has invested in firms such as HMV and Staples in the UK in recent years.
Cantwell, who left Selection Services in 2011, said: Alan Cantwell commented, "We believe this transaction is a significant step forward for Systemax and Misco, enabling both parties to focus on their respective strengths in industrial products in North America and IT solutions in Europe. We are acquiring a business with huge potential to expand in the European IT services market."
One source, familiar with Misco's situation, told CRN that Hilco's turnaround of HMV is a good sign for the UK Misco business.
"[Hilco] are good at that stuff," he said. "The reason [Systemax] has not sold France is because it is profitable, and they are going to focus on selling France for real money. They have offloaded the toxic bits and now they are going to focus on getting a good return selling France."
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