Siltek hits Aust ground running

Siltek hits Aust ground running

It's official. Distribution powerhouse Siltek Asia-Pacific last week launched itself onto the market in a move that saw it acquire Prion from AAG Technology Services.

The company reports it has ambitions to achieve $350 million in revenues this year and predicts it will hit the $500 million mark in the next three years.

Siltek Asia-Pacific brings together the resources of its subsidiaries Agate Technology Australia and Agate Technology New Zealand, voice distributor Siltek Communications Australia, printer specialist CIE Pacific, Advance Pacific Peripherals, and now Prion.

Siltek officially launched the company on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge last Monday in what appears to have been an industry first.

Hugh Evans, former Agate managing director, has assumed the MD's role of Siltek Asia-Pacific, with a mission to make Siltek `the supplier of choice to the channel'.

Speaking to ARN prior to the official Harbour Bridge launch, he claimed that `Siltek will take IT distribution to new heights'.

The news ends months of speculation about the possibility of a Prion buyout, with ARN first reporting in April this year it was in negotiations with CHA. Both companies later decided against the deal.

The move also follows a report in ARN (29 September, page 1), in which industry sources tipped that the Prion acquisition was imminent. At the time, Evans reported Siltek was about to make a series of acquisitions that would make it the third largest distribution organisation in Australia.

However, Evans said last week that he does not want to portray the growth as a provocative stance against competitors such as Tech Pacific, Ingram Micro and Express Data.

`I'm not here to aggressively attack our competitors,' he said, despite conceding the new company will provide healthy market competition.

Evans added that Siltek Asia-Pacific is positioning itself as `a leader in IT supply-chain management'He said the company offers value-added services such as hotstage and reconfiguration capabilities in addition to straight fulfilment.

Evans said the company is still on track to list on the ASX within 18 to 24 months to fuel the financial fire for further acquisitions.

Michael Bosnar, Prion's general manager, has now tweaked his title to become managing director of the company, which will remain a separate entity in line with all other business units despite back-office ties to Siltek.

Bosnar said all existing Prion staff will remain with the company while Evans added the company as a whole is actually short of staff. `We feel under-resourced,' Evans commented.

Bosnar said AAG was happy with Prion's acquisition because distribution is not its core business.

`One of the main reasons was AAG wanted to focus on being more of a services company,' he said.

Siltek Asia-Pacific's next move is to spend the next 12 months building a single corporate IT infrastructure to underpin each business unit.

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