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Simms International acquires K H Distribution to drive reseller and retail channel growth

  • 25 August, 2006 07:40

<p>Expands retail presence for Simms; new reseller channel opportunities for Apple</p>
<p>Specialist IT components and accessories supplier Simms International Pty Ltd has acquired major distributor of Apple products and accessories, K H Distribution Pty Ltd, creating a business with the financial stability and clout to invest for further growth in the reseller and retail channels.</p>
<p>Sydney-based Simms is a specialist supplier to the reseller, system integrator, sub-distribution and retail channels for vendors including Kingston Technology, the world’s largest independent memory manufacturer, as well as Sony, FujiFilm and STM Bags.</p>
<p>Brisbane-based K H Distribution was established 10 years ago by husband and wife team Keith and Aine Rice. Like Simms, it has grown well over the past three years, particularly on the back of the phenomenal success of the Apple iPod.</p>
<p>“Over the past five years, Simms has enjoyed significant growth. We have a strong balance sheet, a product set from pre-eminent vendors, backed by quality infrastructure, systems, processes, people and customers. It is now time to take the business to another level and this acquisition delivers that,” Simms International Managing Director Danny Moore said.</p>
<p>“The combined organisation is much stronger financially, and in a better position to fund further growth, offer new products and develop more opportunities for Simms, K H and Apple Computer.”</p>
<p>The deal brings together two complementary businesses with a similar focus and approach to business, Mr Moore added.</p>
<p>“It is a great meeting of similar cultures and very focused organisations. Both K H and Simms have been around for 10 years. We have both developed markets for our vendors and supported them with marketing, technical support and other services. K H, like Simms, is totally focused on its product set and the acquisition gives us a very strong retail presence which was a key part of our growth strategy,” Mr Moore said.</p>
<p>“Simms was born in the Apple channel, selling memory for Apple personal computers in 1995. Apple’s founding MD in Australia David Strong is Chairman of the Simms’ Board and we are currently selling into the Apple channel.</p>
<p>“For Simms, the acquisition creates an opportunity to expand the premium product set we offer our reseller customers. Access to quality products from a respected and innovative vendor like Apple, backed by the specialist expertise K H brings in that area, opens another avenue through which we can support our customers’ business growth,” Mr Moore continued.</p>
<p>K H Distribution founders Keith and Aine Rice will continue to work in the business for six months while the transition to Simms is implemented. The merged business will have a combined staff of about 50. K H will continue to operate under the K H name until the businesses are formally brought together at a later date, Mr Moore explained.</p>
<p>“For the first six months it’s critical we build depth of understanding of the business. We understand the Apple channel is unique. K H distribution has done a very good job, so we are going to spend time learning more about what they have done successfully, and then complement it with the strengths we bring to enhance the business overall,” Mr Moore said.</p>
<p>“It is business as usual for our customers, channel partners and staff while we ensure both businesses are ready to merge. We are not in a hurry – we are going to do this right.”</p>
<p>The marriage with Simms was a very positive outcome that would enable K H to continue its rapid growth path under the Simms banner, K H’s Keith Rice explained.</p>
<p>“We have been growing more than 60% year on year for the past two years. We reached the position where it was becoming difficult to fund such rapid growth,” he said. “Simms brings to the equation much stronger cash flow and capital management. It has the infrastructure and resources in place to support that growth. This is a major plus for the company and it’s just what was needed for that growth to continue.</p>
<p>“We are both very vendor focused and that has always stood us in good stead. Both organisations win business by going beyond distribution to provide service and support.</p>
<p>“From a personal perspective, Aine and I were also looking to retire,” 57-year-old Mr Rice added. “However, we would not have sold the business to just anybody because we spent 10 years building it from scratch with a credit card and a $5000 credit limit. This is a really strong relationship and we have a lot of confidence in Simms’ ability to take both businesses to new heights.”</p>
<p>K H staff based in NSW will share Simms’ Sydney office, while the small number of Simms staff in Queensland and Victoria will move into the K H offices in those states.</p>
<p>ENDS</p>
<p>About Simms International
Simms International is a specialist supplier of IT components and accessories to the reseller, system integrator, sub-distribution and retail channels. Established in 1995 in Sydney, Simms International is also represented in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Simms International has been the Master Distributor for Kingston Technology since 1998 and maintains strong relationships with other pre-eminent vendors. Simms’ commitment to quality is supported by its accreditation to the quality standard ISO 9001:2000. In April 2003, Simms achieved the Investor in People accreditation - the first such accreditation by an IT company in Australia. For more information visit www.simms.com.au.</p>

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