Avnet Acquires JBA Distribution Business

JBA Holdings Plc has sold its North American Computer Solutions Division to Avnet Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz.) for an undetermined sum, not to exceed $24 million. The North American CSD was JBA's midrange hardware distribution division.

In a statement released to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it will use the proceeds of the sale to reduce debt and fund its acquisition strategy. JBA will focus on its System21 software development business. Under the terms of the agreement, Avnet will distribute JBA System21 products in the U.S. and Canada.

The move continues the recent trend toward consolidation in the reseller business, such as Gates/Arrow's acquisition of SupportNet and Savoir Technology's purchase of Star Management Services in late 1997, and Savoir's purchase of Real Applications' IBM distribution business and Pioneer-Standard's acquisition of Dickens Data Systems last year.

Avnet, a distributor of computer products as well as electronics components, is also the parent company of Hall-Mark Computer Products and Bytech Systems.

--D. Callaghan