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By | John Oates 21st May 2008 10:20

Stone catches fallen Rock

Notebook reseller saved from administration

Stone Group, reseller to the public sector, has bought high-end laptop maker Rock Group which went into administration earlier this month.

Staffs-based Stone will keep the Rock brand and its focus on high-end laptops and games machines. Stone will hope to sell more of these machines to its traditional public sector customers. Rock's former chief executive Nick Boardman joins Stone's board as director of the mobile technology division.

Warwick-based Rock fell into financial difficulties following a huge theft by an ex-employee. In March an ex-Rock salesman was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing £200,000 from the firm. This led some suppliers to cut credit limits to the company, which led to cashflow problems that eventually forced the company into administration.

There were also problems with supplies of laptop batteries. Deloitte and Touche were appointed to run the firm and were trying to sell it as a going concern. Some staff were kept on while this search continued.

Stone Group has 200 staff and sells a variety of kit and services to mainly public sector customers especially schools, further and higher education institutions and the emergency services. James Bird, chief executive at Stone, said the deal meant the company could offer a wider range of laptops.

Boardman told customers that their historic warranties will be supported. ®

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