Apple dealers join forces

Apple dealers join forces

Adelaide-based Apple dealer chain, Next Byte, has struck a merger agreement with Victoria's Desktop Power.

Next Byte joint managing director, Tim Kleeman, said it had been watching the Ivanhoe dealership for some time. Desktop Power won Apple's Store of the Year in 2005.

"Desktop Power offers us a lot of complementary skills even though it is just one store. The staff and ownership have been doing things very well," Kleeman said.

The store's large repeat business was a major attraction, he said.

As part of the merger, Desktop Power owner, Phil Warren, will take a director's chair on the Next Byte board. All 14 staff will be retained. The Desktop Power store will be rebranded under the Next Byte masthead.

The deal brings Next Byte's store tally up to 18 across Australia, including four in Victoria.

Kleeman said it would continue to look for expansion opportunities.

"It's been our strategy since we started in 1995 to grow and be the largest and best Apple dealer we can be," he said. "We've done this by opening new stores and making acquisitions when opportunities presented themselves. But Desktop Power is a different kettle of fish. This is a genuine merger."

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