The local management teams of distributor CHS Electronics, which went into receivership on Friday, have launched a bid to buy 51 per cent of the Europe Middle East and Africa business from its US parent.
CHS's board will meet in the US today to consider the offer, which expires on 29 October.
The news follows today's earlier announcement that CHS's UK operation is likely to be sold within a couple of days, after being placed in administrative receivership by its largest creditor DFS last Friday (see earlier story).
Under the terms of the management buyout offer, the parent company would retain a 49 per cent stake in the EMEA business. The ecommerce component of the EMEA operation would be transferred to a new entity, which would be 51 per cent owned by the parent and 49 per cent owned by the EMEA team.
Current chief operating officer of CHS worldwide, Mark Keough, will head the restructured EMEA business, if the bid goes ahead.
In a statement, he claimed to have enlisted the support of key vendors for the move.
"They unanimously view this as a positive move. Several have indicated in writing that they are willing to support the new enterprise, which is still the largest distributor in EMEA and a dominant force in several European country markets," Keough said.
Analyst at channel consultancy Canalys, Steve Brazier, said most of CHS Europe was "in good shape", with problems largely confined to the UK.
The IT industry clearly believed the business still had the chance to succeed, Brazier said.
"It's too early to write CHS off - there's life in it yet," he said.
CHS is in talks with several private equity firms about refinancing the new company.
The EMEA business is expected to generate turnover of $7 million for 1999.
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