Global distributor Ingram Micro stunned the Australian channel last week when it announced its intention to the Singapore Stock Exchange to acquire Electronic Resources, its current affiliate.
According to Ingram officials, the distributor has agreed to buy 41,098,340 ERL shares from specific shareholders at a price of $S1.95 ($1.82) for each share. In addition, two of these shareholders have also granted Ingram Micro a call option to acquire 3,016,000 shares at the same price each.
Ingram's renewed push for complete control of ER, and its local subsidiary Electronic Resources Australia (ERA), follows the distributor's decision in December 1997 to purchase 20.9 per cent of ER. Ingram now commands a controlling 54.7 per cent interest in ER and expects to close the deal by mid-February this year.
According to Greg Spierkel, Ingram's Asia-Pacific president, further details of the proposed takeover bid remain under wraps, however he did confirm that he would visit Australia next week to brief ERA/Ingram's current and potential vendor partners on the latest negotiations.
Last year was a lamentable period for ERA as the distributor was left to pick up the pieces following the discovery of a multimillion dollar Intel chip racket. And while both Ingram and ERA officials did their best to put a positive spin on proceedings, the conglomerate's reputation in Australia was severely tarnished.