Investor courts Tech Pacific

Tech Pacific New Zealand boss Tony Butler has given the merest clue as to a possible buyer of the IT distribution company, which was put on the block by its Dutch owner, Hagemeyer, late last year.

Tech Pacific New Zealand boss Tony Butler has given the merest clue as to a possible buyer of the IT distribution company, which was put on the block by its Dutch owner, Hagemeyer, late last year.

More than one party is pursuing Tech Pacific, Butler says, but none is a competitor, a supplier or a customer.

“There can be logistics companies that aren’t our competitors,” he says, in response to questioning whether an investment company might be the eventual buyer.

He says that means customers and suppliers can be assured the business will not undergo radical change once sold.

Reports in the Australian IT press, where Tech Pacific is based, put the value of the company at $A250 million to $A350 million. Its eight operations throughout Asia and the Pacific are expected to clock up sales of $A3 billion this year. The Australian reports suggest venture capitalist CVC as the likely buyer, which Tech Pacific’s Sydney-based boss, David Cullen, doesn’t rule out.

The Asia-Pacific head of rival IT distributor Ingram Micro, Hans Koppen, is picking an investor as the buyer. “My belief is that if there is a serious offer it would be a venture capital company that would scrub up the balance sheet and sell it again at a profit,” Koppen says. He says Ingram Micro considered buying Tech Pacific but, with the market for IT products the way it is, decided against making a bid.

Butler says the protracted sale process — “the bloody thing” — is consuming up to 70% of his time.

It will be concluded in “weeks rather than months”, Butler says.

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