P&P adds Scottish company to network

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The Independent Online
P&P, the computer distributor, is buying the Scottish firm Computers for Business for up to pounds 6.6m. The acquisition is part of P&P's move out of hardware distribution into higher-value networking products and computer services, writes Diane Coyle.

David Southworth, P&P's managing director, said: 'CFB's principal areas of activity are the same as ours.' The Scottish firm brings P&P customers in finance, oil and local government. Its existing managers will stay. Mr Southworth said it would continue to operate as an independent business.

CFB made pre-tax profits of pounds 530,157 in 1993 and had net assets of pounds 2.4m at the year-end. It will receive an initial consideration of pounds 3.74m in P&P shares and cash. P&P is to issue 4.5 million new shares, about 8 per cent of its existing equity. To earn the maximum pounds 6.6m payment, CFB would need to make pre-tax profits of at least pounds 950,000 in 1994.

The change of strategic direction helped to double P&P's pre-tax profits from pounds 2m to pounds 4.1m in the year to 30 November 1993.

Analysts said the acquisition would improve P&P's ability to provide computer services nationwide. The shares closed 4p higher at 73p.