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NetStar not on the block

NetStar not on the block

Anixter officials in the US have hosed down speculation that NetStar, its Australian network integration business, is set to be sold off following the sale of its North American integration business to telco Ameritech. Anixter also sold off its European network integration business last year.

NetStar is however no longer in a position to boast that it is part of a global integration company, as no partnership arrangements have been worked into the Ameritech agreement.

Dennis Letham, Anixter's chief financial officer, told ARN that the NetStar business was a significant part of its Asian business and that "at this time we have no plans or intention to sell.

"There's an old saying that I'm sure you've heard many times that anything is for sale at the right price, but at this stage we intend to continue to grow the NetStar business.

"We consider it to be a very good, profitable business, with a first-class management team that holds a very good market position."

Very different

Letham said the NetStar position was very different to both the European and North American situations.

"The European operation was not profitable, while in the US we were having a fair amount of conflict with our distribution segment," he said.

"The scope of our distribution business in the US is signifi- cantly larger than our Australian operation and that conflict was giving us problems in developing the integration business."

As long as the integration and distribution businesses operate in Australia without conflict, they will both be viable businesses, Letham said.

While Anixter was able to maintain a partnership arrangement with the buyer of its European network integration business, no such agreement has been struck with Ameritech yet, Letham said.

As such, NetStar cannot at this moment boast of having a truly global reach. It also loses access to facilities like the massive US staging centre, which NetStar officials have previously touted as being a competitive advantage.


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