IN spite of their imminent merger, Tech Pacific and Ingram Micro continue to compete vigorously in New Zealand.
This is the message from Ingram Micro New Zealand managing director John Dunbar and his Tech Pacific counterpart Tony Butler, who say they have not yet started discussions on the combination of the two companies.
Planning around the merger of the two companies will only be done once the sale of Tech Pacific to Ingram Micro for $750 million is finalised and will be conducted by a regional integration team, says Dunbar.
“In the meantime we will be competing vigorously. We do not have any communication between the two companies,” says Dunbar.
Butler concurs: “We are still competing as separate businesses, and are not encouraging much interaction at the moment.”
The acquisition, announced two weeks ago, has since cleared important regulatory hurdles following New Zealand Commerce Commission and Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
Meanwhile, both companies have allayed fears in the channel that the takeover will see reseller credit limits reduced.
“We can assure resellers on their credit. Ingram Micro has committed that the overall credit available to the channel will not be reduced. This is a good commitment,” says Butler, but warns this does not guarantee resellers will retain the same amount of credit they now have between the two distributors.
Dunbar confirms he has received indication that insurers will continue to underwrite the combined value of credit limits in an integrated company.
“The insurance companies already have the same exposure across the two separate companies and both of us will be very hot on ensuring the combined limits are kept, as we do not want any impediment to business when it merges.”
Dunbar and Butler agree that it is too soon to speculate over who will run the new operation in New Zealand, but both are eager to be involved in the merged company.
“I am very committed to this merger and the company and my intention is to carry on. But that decision will have to wait a few more weeks,” says Butler.
Decisions on who will be in charge will only be made once the deal is completed, says Dunbar.
“That has not been discussed yet. The integration team will look at each country individually and decide how best to combine the strengths of each company and which people from what company will do what.”
Both men also state that in spite of being fierce competitors over the years, the prospect of working together is not daunting.
“It is a different mindset and an unusual feeling as everything we planned before was around competition, but now it is about the scale of things we can achieve together,” says Dunbar.
Butler says he always respected his rivals at Ingram Micro and even regards them as friends: “In the good Kiwi manner, we have been competing, but have always been good friends. I see no problems in relationships between people from the two companies working together.”