IT reseller Cheriton Computers has been wound up by US giant Dell over an unpaid five-figure debt.
Alton-based Cheriton - which is a Lenovo Premium Business Partner, Microsoft small-biz specialist and Dell registered dealer - celebrated its ten-year anniversary this month, but it won't be toasting an eleventh.
More ReadingCough up or else, HMRC tells storage channel bizMajor Dell investor cashes in ALL of its 24.5 million sharesPC floggers scavenge for crumbs as Apple hoovers up profitsDell tried gobbling doomed Brit IT giant 2e2 for £350m, say insidersDell axes IT channel middlemen, installs Windows in the factory
A winding-up petition lodged by Dell on 20 February was granted by the Royal Courts of Justice this week, and Cheriton was formally wound up.
Speaking to The Channel, Graham Livingstone, Cheriton's managing director, said it had proposed a payment plan but "Dell forced our hand and said we want the money upfront".
"We were not in a position to do that, so Dell pulled the carpet from under us," he said. Livingstone refused to reveal the exact size of the debt but said it was less than £100,000.
"Dell said they would teach us a lesson [for not paying the debt] but I pointed out we had no assets in the business and they wouldn't get anything. They still wound us up."
The firm's ten staff, nearly all of whom are techies, were laid off, Livingston confirmed. He said he plans to remain in the IT industry but will not start up another channel firm.
Cheriton filed abbreviated accounts for the year to March 2012 showing it was owed £200,000 and was in debt to others for the same amount. It had a net asset value of £1,000.
Dell said "unfortunately, we can't comment on our relationship with specific resellers”. ®