Components distribution minnow PC Peripherals has snapped up the brand of MESH Computers – along with certain assets – after the recession and the market shift to tablets forced the traditional system builder to call in the administrators.
London-based MacIntyre Hudson LLP were appointed yesterday and having punted the business to several interested parties decided to sell up to PC Peripherals for an undisclosed sum on the same day.
Paul Davis, principal at the chartered accountants, defended the fire sale of North London-based MESH: "This deal was reliant on a quick turnaround so we had to work hard to find the right buyer in a short space of time – whilst maximising the return for creditors."
He claimed it was "not just the recession" that had taken a toll on the PC maker; rising demand for slate devices over laptops and desktops also contributed to its demise.
Kent-based PC Peripherals has confirmed it will offer hardware support to existing MESH customers that are within their original warranty period.
Reza Jafari, owner and director at PC Peripherals, viewed the acquisition of struggling MESH as a platform on which to build its business.
"MESH Computers' 25 year history of manufacturing in the UK is a solid foundation to build from and we are looking forward to investing and moving into our next phase of growth," he said.
The speed at which the deal was concluded is a cause for concern among several creditors, who fear they may be left out of pocket as a result of the fire sale.
"This has all the classic signs of a pre-pack administration," ventured one source.
The writing was on the wall for MESH – one of the last bastions of the UK PC-building industry – following a tough 2009 when revenues fell more than 10 per cent to £16.9m.
It retained a profit of £184,000 for the year, compared to a £3.5m loss a year earlier, but this was due to reducing the cost of goods sold – salaries, headcount – by £4.5m year-on-year.
PC Peripherals posted abbreviated accounts for the last three years, suggesting it has a turnover less than £5m.
MacIntyre Hudson refused to comment further. ®