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Big guns court Harris: Online success prompts buyer barrage

Big guns court Harris: Online success prompts buyer barrage

Local Internet superstore pioneer Harris Technology will announce this week a future growth strategy for the company which is rumoured to include its acquisition by one of Australia's largest retail companies.

Harris Technology's managing director, Ron Harris, confirmed to ARN last week "there is something going on" but didn't want to comment any further on the matter. He did say HT had been targeted for acquisition by "several companies" both local and international in recent weeks. They were interested in the highly successful mail order and e-commerce business that has flourished around the original North Sydney retail outlet, he said.

Interested parties

"In the last eight weeks there have been four separate companies that we have been talking to - two from the US, one from South Africa and one from Australia," Harris said last Thursday.

"They have all been interested in our Internet activity as well as our whole presence in the Australian market. At this stage I am not allowed to tell you any more."

Harris spent all of last Wednesday in Melbourne in what appears to have been final negotiations with the successful suitor. One of the names prominent on the rumour mill was Coles-Myer, which has a Melbourne HQ. When asked, Harris refused to corroborate the suggestion.

Harris claimed he was "under a non-disclosure agreement" but assured ARN there would be an announcement this week about the company's future.

"There is quite a bit to this," he said, indicating any deal that has been done is more than just a straight-out acquisition. I am interested in the future of the company and its staff. The long term is very important to us," he added.

ARN Daily will break the news at http://arn.idg.com.au as soon as full details are known.


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