CHA finally under hammer

CHA finally under hammer

After almost a year of procrastination, US electronics distributor giant CHS last week announced it has completed the acquisition of Computer Hardware of Australia (CHA).

CHA is reportedly the third-largest wholesale distributor of IT products in Australia with revenues in excess of $100 million.

The terms of the acquisition include a purchase price to be determined by the performance of the business over the next two years. It is understood CHS and CHA have agreed on the business targets for the next 12 and 24 months.

In addition to being Toshiba's largest distributor on a national basis, Melbourne-based CHA distributes for Acer, Canon, Xircom, Iomega, 3Com, Citrix, Philips and Network Associates.

Roger Bushell, managing director of CHA, told ARN: "Our affiliation with CHS Electronics will help us establish new relationships with key vendors in the region and expand our customer base, while also maintaining our identity and franchise on a local level."

It's been an interesting 12 months for CHA and Bushell, busily consolidating the five acquisitions it had made up to this time last year into a substantial national distribution entity.

But while declining to reveal any financial details of the buyout, Bushell acknowledged that a few extra grey hairs will have been worth it and that he was very happy with the deal.

While the company will continue to trade as CHA for the time being, it will gradually introduce the CHS name, he said.

Bushell anticipates the acquisition completion will not immediately affect CHA's day-to-day operations.

However, CHA has split itself into two divisions, effective immediately.

The new Volume Products division, based out of Sydney, is headed by Paul Williams, while the Enterprise Group is based in the Melbourne head office, under the management of Queenslander Mark Ganon.

Bushell added that all the regional marketing activities are now consolidated and managed out of head office.

After the excitement of the deal settles, Bushell expects to take a few days off and consider what to do with the money. He'll have plenty of time because the final price will not be determined until July 2001.

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