Now Fujitsu breaks up with UK tech distributor Northamber

Surrey-based distie cut loose by end of June

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Exclusive Fujitsu Technology Products Group (FTPG) has become the latest major vendor to give UK IT distributor Northamber its marching orders, The Channel can exclusively reveal.

Folk close to the Japanese outfit reckon the clock is already ticking on Surrey-based Northamber to wind down its position. "They are gone by 30 June," said one.

Michael Keegan, FTPG boss for the UK and Ireland and a self-proclaimed industry insurgent, confirmed the "decision to end its contract with Northamber" following a review.

"Fujitsu continues its focus, investment and commitment into a model which supports the wider channel community in taking a fantastic breadth of products into the right markets," he added in a canned statement.

Our insiders reckon FTPG top brass lacked confidence that Northamber could help topple larger server and storage rivals in the UK including HP, Dell and IBM.

The reduction will leave FTPG with four disties: Ingram Micro, Micro P, Enta Technologies and Arrow ECS.

Northamber has struggled to return to its glory days when revenues peaked at £299m in fiscal 2001. A year later it lost the key HP franchise and revenues have ebbed ever since.

In the last full fiscal year ended June 2012, Northamber turned over £101m, down 16.5 per cent on the previous year, and posted an operating loss of £97,000.

At the halfway stage for fiscal 2013 on 31 December, Northamber sales were £41.5m compared to £53.8m in the previous comparison period.

Splitting with a bunch of major vendors has hardly helped the distributor's cause, even though colourful chairman David Philips said last year it did not want "empty revenues".

It split with IBM in January following a 28-year partnership, after Big Blue opted to work with multi-country disties Arrow ECS, Avnet TS and SDG.

Then in February, Kingston Technology ripped up its distribution contract with Northamber.

Ann Keefe, regional director for the UK and Ireland at the memory-maker, told us today, "Our goals weren't aligned... We were going in different directions".

Kingston is now concentrating on disties Enta Technologies, C2000, Ingram Micro, Hammer and SIMMs.

Last year Northamber lost the Microsoft OEM franchise following a review, and in 2011 it split with notebook players Toshiba and Cisco.

The Channel attempted to get comment from the distie but Northamber boss David Philips hung up on us. ®


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