Embattled reseller Compel has dismissed reports that it had approached rival Specialist Computer Holdings (SCH) about a friendly takeover, insisting that it is still capable of going it alone.
Compel has been under siege since issuing a profit warning last month (CRN, 24 May). It is currently trying to fight off an informal bid by rival Computacenter, which is attempting to woo Compel's shareholders to accept an £85m offer.
Last week, the Financial Times reported that Compel had approached SCH, its biggest shareholder with 11.4 per cent, to see if it would act as a white knight. The newspaper claimed that a person close to SCH had said that the privately-owned company had a high regard for Compel and had been invited to "take matters further". But the source said SCH was not able to do so, even though Compel would be a good fit.
"SCH made a large acquisition of InfoProducts in February and it is on the way to achieving what it wants. It's just not the right timing for the company," the source was reported as saying.
SCH could not be contacted for comment. But Neville Davis, chief executive of Compel, said the report was untrue. "We didn't request SCH to be a white knight," he said. "The article was very peculiar."
He said Compel was not considering Computacenter's offer, which, it had earlier claimed, significantly undervalued the firm. No other offers had been received for the company, he said.
Davis said there was no possibility that Compel's shareholders might force it to negotiate with Computacenter. He said: "Our shareholders believe the business has good prospects."
He stressed that Compel was determined to remain an independent company and that the take-over attempt by Computacenter had not affected the business. "Compel has excellent prospects. I don't think its days as an independent business are numbered in any way, shape or form," Davis said.
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