Three days after the announcement of its acquisition by CHS Electronics, Merisel UK is still awaiting news of what it is to be called and where it will be located. No date has yet been set for future plans to be discussed, according to the firm, but it seems likely that some consolidation is on the cards as CHS is based in Woking, Surrey, not a huge distance from Merisel UK's Brentford, west London headquarters.
However, Merisel UK channel marketing manager Jason Boxall said he doesn't expect any wide-scale filleting of the company. "A distributor doesn't own the stock it carries or the buildings it operates from," he said. "The main assets it has are its customer list and its staff. Merisel has 250-280 staff in the UK; that's what CHS has bought.
"We're in the position now where we can move forward. We're owned by a company focused only on Europe and Latin America, which for us is great. We compete in a lot of areas where they [CHS] don't. It's obviously not just an attempt to buy off one of the competition."
Boxall added that Merisel UK will have the right to use the Merisel name for one year after the acquisition goes through, although no announcement has been made regarding the new company's operating name.
Several distribution channel observers said they were convinced the merged firm would rationalise. "CHS is already a distributor in its own right so my gut feeling is that the expectation of redundancies has got to be high," said one software vendor. "There has to be some duplication in staff, warehousing and premises."
CHS paid about $130 million in cash plus $30 million to take over Merisel Europe's credit facility.