The orchard of Apple dealers that merged and planned a public float last year has struck trouble and created a $30 million legacy, a Melbourne newspaper reported on its Web site this morning.
Known as Buzzle, the new entity was formed by seven of Apple's largest channel partners. ARN reported on Apple's enthusiasm for the deal when it was announced in July, 2000.
According to the report in The Age, the group's aggregate turnover was $220 million - or one third of Apple's Australian annual revenues. The group has folded leaving its chief vendor partner as one of its largest creditors.
Apple is owed "about $24 million" in outstanding debt for hardware and software, The Age said. A spokesperson for Apple would neither confirm nor deny this figure, suggesting the hardware vendor was "in discussion" with the Buzzle management team on the matter and that "no further comment" was on offer at is stage.
ARN's attempts to gain comment from Buzzle in relation to The Age story were unsuccessful.
The group was originally formed by prominent Apple resellers Choice Connections, Design Wyse, GM Computer, Mac's Place, Manning Computers, Status Graph and Next Byte.
Next Byte opted out in August with its director, Adam Steinhardt, saying at the time, "As owners, we were expected to cash in our chips, and we are not prepared to do that," he said.
Next Byte's Steinhardt had not returned our calls by the time this story was posted. Further updates will follow as they become available.