Fayrewood gives full backing to Interface

Fayrewood gives full backing to Interface

Overseas concerns jettisoned as holding company concentrates on UK distributor

Investment firm Fayrewood is poised to inject more cash into its UK distribution arm, Interface Solutions, after agreeing to offload the last of its overseas ventures.

Fayrewood has accepted a 838.1m (£27.1m) offer for French peripherals distributor Banque Magnetique from Gem Distribution. This follows its recent sale of Spanish broadliner UMD and the disposal of its remaining stake in Computerlinks.

Keith Negal, managing director of Interface, claimed Fayrewood will now throw its full weight behind restoring the profitability of the IBM and Lenovo distributor through aggressive investment.

The disposal of Banque Magnetique will leave Fayrewood with a cash balance of about 834.9m.

Negal said: “Interface has so far failed to generate the returns expected by shareholders, but the board is prepared to wait for it to achieve its potential.

“We want to improve services and are in talks to form a joint venture [with a services firm]. We are also exploring possible acquisitions.”

Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at market watcher Canalys, said: “Fayrewood clearly wants to get out of distribution. It cannot sell Interface for a decent amount, so it will knock it back into shape and sell it after a couple of years.”

Simon Welch, marketing director at rival distributor Horizon Group, said: “In the high end of the enterprise, resellers are always going to get opportunities where the technology is complex and they do not have the skills in-house. Setting up a joint services venture is sensible.”