The new owner of PC Direct, Blue Star Group, says the leading local PC maker has further growth ahead now that it has access to Blue Star funds.
Months of rumour, speculation and denial ended last week with the announcement of an agreement for the 100% sale of PC Direct, valued at $30 million, to Blue Star.
In addition, the Group has agreed to acquire a 75% stake in cellphone supplier Hart Candy Communications locally. A deal has also been signed in relation to Melbourne-based commercial contract stationer Goodman, Cannington, Prince.
PC Direct managing director Maurice Bryham says the sale is “the bringing together of two New Zealand business success stories.”
The deal will see the PC Direct partners take shares in US Office Products and retain their active involvement and management of the business. It is a 100% sale including the 25% stake held by Direct Capital Partners.
“We see this as the chance to become part of what is now one of the largest multi-tiered technology groups in this part of the world,” says Bryham.
Forecast turnover for PC Direct this year is $80 million.
Blue Star’s seemingly unending buying spree of New Zealand office products suppliers has already seen the acquisition of Whitcoulls, Ubix, Wang New Zealand, General Packaging and Wellington Business Equipment. A bid for computer company Sealcorp fell through due to tax Implications last month.
Blue Star’s US-based parent, US Office Products has completed 90 acquisitions since it was founded in 1994 and claims annual sales of $3.4 billion.
The founder of Blue Star, Eric Watson, says there is no threat of downsizing at PC Direct due to “synergies” within the new group.
“There are more opportunities for PC Direct,” he says. “It will have access to our customer base, it will have access to our finance company, it will have large amounts of capital.
“We can see PC Direct growing very quickly.”
And what’s next?
“We’re obviously pursuing acquisitions that fit into our strategy.”
So it’s not over yet.
Blue Star will be targeting the contract stationery and office technology markets transtasman and the systems integration market through its New Zealand Wang operation.