Avnet picks up Cellnet IT operations

Distributor offloads staff and inventory to rival

Embattled distributor, Cellnet (ASX: CLT), has offloaded its Australian IT operations to rival, Avnet.

The deal is expected to release $2 million in working capital over the next two months and have little impact on earnings, Cellnet claimed in a statement to the ASX.

Cellnet CEO, Stuart Smith, told ARN a decision on how to use the funds raised from the sale of the IT operations had yet to be made.

“We are looking at all options, obviously in conjunction with our major shareholder CVC and outside parties,” Smith said.

It is understood, nine out of 15 staff – excluding warehouse staff – have been offered positions at Avnet.

“The staff moving over, in the current economic environment, we saw that as a positive,” he said. “The customer base in terms of continuity is all hopefully going to be fairly seamless.”

Earlier this month the fate of the IT business hit the spotlight following revelations Cellnet was looking to sell the division after the distributor’s decision to offload its New Zealand IT operations to Datastor.

Last year, rival distributor, Dicker Data, revealed it had been in discussion with Cellnet’s majority owner, CVC Ltd, to acquire parts of Cellnet’s business.

Cellnet is expecting to post up to $12 million in losses in the full year to June 30, according to recent guidance documents.