Volante prepares for market assault

Victorian-based Volante is making an ambitious bid to become one of Australia's leading resellers after last week announcing its intention to list on the Australian Stock Exchange in December.

In addition, Volante received a gong from Toshiba last week, being named as one of its 5-Star resellers, which moved it into the company of resellers such as Applied Micro Systems (AMS).

The company reports the share offer is expected to raise around $29 million, giving it a market capitalisation of $61 million. More than 3.5 million shares are to be sold at $1.70 each, with the offer closing by the end of November.

Wayne Morris, Volante's managing director, said the ASX float is designed to fund more acquisitions and increase staff levels; however, he refused to disclose information on acquisitions currently in negotiations.

Morris said his intention is to "grow Volante through sensible acquisitions" and to "make sure we have the staff involved through shares".

"Historically, we have expanded geographically which is still an opportunity for the future, but also we want to add important product lines and services," he said.

Meanwhile, Volante is now required to establish a Toshiba ProCare Service Centre in order to provide customers with the expected level of care associated with 5-Star status, said Sue McGinley, Toshiba's channel marketing manager.

McGinley expects Toshiba's channel partners to commit to a strategy of growth, business focus, Pro-Care and customer satisfaction, measured by an annual survey of resellers' own customers.

"5-Star resellers ensure customers receive the very best advice, the fastest service and the highest level of product satisfaction at all times. Volante's e-commerce business model supports these criteria," McGinley said.

Volante specifically will utilise its Customer Connect system to meet Toshiba's criteria, with the e-commerce system linking customers to suppliers. The system gives customers access to product information, pricing and availability, as well as allowing them to order online.

In addition, the service can provide information on stock availability, asset tracking, delivery times and specific pricing and bundles.