New Age in retail for Synnex

New Age in retail for Synnex

Broad-based distributor's US affiliate acquires consumer electronics distributor for $54.2m

A more aggressive push into retail and acquisition plans will take centre stage for Synnex this year, according to its local chief.

The statement follows news that the broad-based distributor's US affiliate acquired US-based CE distributor, New Age Electronics (NAE), for $54.2 million this week.

New Age's list of vendors includes HP, Panasonic, Sharp, Kodak and Samsung. The distributor recorded $US900 million in revenue during the 2007 financial year. The deal is expected to close in April.

Synnex president and CEO, Robert T Huang, said New Age's experience in retail and consumer electronics would greatly expand Synnex's capabilities in this market while bolstering earnings.

"Consumer electronics is a key area of focus for Synnex. Adding the NAE business vaults Synnex into a leading position in this market," Synnex US president, Peter Laracque, added.

Although the local Synnex team is more aligned with its Asia-Pacific neighbours than the US, Australian CEO, Kee Ong, said embracing consumer electronics would be part of a broader retail push locally this year.

He said the distributor was working on several new initiatives in the space and talking to select vendors. He could not provide details at this stage.

"Retail is booming for us at the moment and we're putting a lot of focus on this space as it is part of our growth strategy," he said. "We will move into CE more when the time is right. It will be interesting to watch what effect interest rate rises next month will have on the market."

The distributor is also continuing to look at acquisitions as a way of expanding its national coverage, Ong said, and is doing some "number crunching" on possibilities.

"We didn't have a good year last year for acquisitions, but we are looking at other options," he said.

Synnex's consumer electronics push reflects a similar move by rival distributor, Ingram Micro, which purchased home integration distributor and services provider, Avad, in 2005.

Earlier this week, Ingram's Australian team announced a new Consumer Home and Office Solutions (CHOS) division to address new opportunities in the digital convergence market.

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