World's largest distributor buys into ERL

World's largest distributor buys into ERL

Electronic Resources Australia is looking forward to a future as a broad-based distributor following US giant Ingram Micro's acquisition of a slice of Electronic Resource's (ERL) Singapore parent.

Ingram Micro purchased a 20.9 per cent stake in Singapore-based ERL with an option to take a bigger chunk in the future.

ERL Australia's executive director Robert Lee says it will be business as usual.

"We will continue to operate as Electronic Resources Australia. We have a long known name in the Asia-Pacific region and will continue to do so," Lee said.

The excitement has spread over the Pacific with Electronic Resources New Zealand's director John Dunbar also enthusiastic about the deal.

"It gives us access to a huge product range. Ingram has 1100 suppliers," Dunbar says.

Existing agency agreements in the Asia-Pacific region will restrict what ERL can pick up but Dunbar says the deal will give ERL negotiating muscle.

"Ingram is the biggest distributor in the world," he says.

Like Dunbar, Lee is very excited about the implications. "There are a lot of benefits for both parties," he says of the effects on the channel.

"Ingram Micro has very strong vendor partnerships which we have access to. It has a strong information system which is unique and very powerful which we will also introduce to the Asia- Pacific area."

Lee says the main advantage for the channel will be the greater number of products available to them.

The channel will also have access to Ingram's information systems.

Lee says vendors are "very supportive and very positive" about the deal. He says this is because ERL will have access to more products.

"It's given ERL the opportunity to serve global customers," Lee says. "Ingram Micro will achieve complete global distribution."

David Dukes, vice chairman of Ingram Micro, says the ERL stake gives the company an entry into the world's fastest growing market.

ERL is one of the largest regional distributors, with 46 offices in 10 Asia-Pacific countries. Ingram Micro operates in 19 countries.

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