Dutch PC maker sells to Ingram Micro

Dutch PC maker sells to Ingram Micro

A Dutch investment group has stepped in to bail out troubled Tulip Computers NV, and will retain the brand name of one of Europe's last PC manufacturers.

Royal Begemann Group NV -- which holds stakes in some 30 German industrial and real estate companies -- has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Tulip and will finance the company until June 8, after which time it will decide on a further course of action, according to Tulip officials.

A Tulip spokesperson declined to reveal the size of the share in the company that Begemann is acquiring.

Begemann will sell Tulip's new production facilities -- designed to make built-to-order PCs with 48-hour delivery across Europe -- to global distributor Ingram Micro, the Tulip spokesman said. The agreement also calls for 140 employees to go to Ingram Micro, leaving roughly 310 employees at Tulip.

The deal edges out German PC maker Vobis AG, which said recently that it was negotiating to purchase Tulip's new factory. Officials at Vobis did not return calls for comment.

Tulip posted a loss of $US13.41 million for the 1997 fiscal year, citing financial difficulties with its new production facility at a time when sales in others areas were also flagging.

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