After failing to live up to expectations, Mitsui Computer will wind its business down over the next three months, the company announced last week. The decision came from Mitsui Japan, which has been experiencing its own financial difficulties recently.
The Japanese parent put the Australian company on notice several months ago and invited it to devise a plan that would demonstrate it could be viable for the next five years, according to a source within the company. It was always going to be a hard sell as Mitsui reported revenue of $71 million for 1996/97, down from $78 million the year before.
A proposal put to the Japanese shareholders was rejected, and the decision made to shut down the Australian operation in Frenchs Forest.
Mitsui's managing director, John Durbin, briefed the distributor's 125 employees immediately after the announcement. Most have been given one month's notice, with only a skeleton staff expected to remain for the final two months, largely in technical support.
Mitsui's demise was news to i.t.connXions' general manager, Laurie Sellers, who said that the closing of Mitsui would create opportunities for other distributors.
"It's obviously tragic when anyone goes out of business like that," he said.i.t.connXions picked up distribution of SunSoft products earlier this year when SunSoft terminated its relationship with Mitsui.
Last year, the company was burnt when Apple Computer's decision to cancel Mac OS clone licensing effectively killed Mitsui's distribution of Power Computing machines.
According to Durbin, Mitsui will be able to pay its creditors in full, and all employees will receive their full financial entitlements.
Resellers or customers who require further information about products purchased from Mitsui can call 1800 801 444.