CHA fires acquisition salvo, hints at channel assembly

CHA fires acquisition salvo, hints at channel assembly

National distributor Computer Hardware of Australia (CHA) set the cat among the pigeons yesterday by splitting the organisation into three strategic business units. And according to newly-annointed managing director, Roger Bushell, the distributor will be putting its acquisition blinkers on over the next few months in a bid to scour the market for likely partners.

Meanwhile, Bushell's partner at CHA, Steve Sampson has been promoted to the role of CEO with CHA's parent company, Sabaramm Holdings Limited. According to Bushell, Sampson will be working full steam ahead on the acquisition and integration front to ensure that CHA wards off potential buyers and also secures market presence in some regional markets and technology markets such as comms.

Under the restructure, CHA will split the business into distribution, enterprise solutions and a surprise OEM arm. The Distribution division will focus on commodity volume-based products such as Toshiba, Compaq and Acer, while the Enterprise arm will focus on the distributor's networking stable of Intel and Digital products along with its newly acquired Citrix-based technologies.

The OEM division holds the most promise for CHA, according to Bushell. It will focus on the distribution of component level products including Iomega, to PC assemblers and mass merchandisers.

However, Bushell hinted at a possible move into the channel assembly market space with a New Zealand distributor.

"Talks with the company are going very well and we aren't too far off cutting a deal with them" Bushell told ARN.

Bushell claimed that an acquisition focus is critical to the continued expansion of CHA into regional markets such as Sydney and also in the area of attracting new technologies which can provide us with incremental business.

"At the end of the day it's very easy to lose track of what we are doing, and these days that is about acquiring organisations and promising technologies and products," Bushell said.

"These CHA divisions will really benefit the channel, as resellers will have dedicated people available to them as a resource for their business.

"The buyers within these divisions will work with CHA's suppliers to negotiate the best possible deals, which we in turn can offer the channel.

According to Sampson: "Our buying spree is far from over, we are currently working with a number of well-known distribution companies both in and out of Australia which we are looking at acquiring in the not too distant future".

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