Iqon falls victim to PC market pressures

Iqon falls victim to PC market pressures

Irish integrator enters examinership after ongoing deficit spirals to €2m

Iqon Technologies has emerged as the latest victim of the cut-throat conditions in the PC assembly space after the Irish company applied to the High Court to enter examinership - a process similar to UK administration.

A volume supplier of both Tesco and Littlewoods in the UK, the Dundalk-based system builder was floored by plummeting margins in the mass retail market. It currently has a deficit of €2m (£1.39m).

Under Irish legislation, Iqon will be given between 70 and 100 days to restructure its business under court protection, should the court rule it is in the best interests of creditors. If not, it will go into liquidation.

Iqon, which knocked out more than 150,000 PC and laptop units in 2006, will learn its fate today.

Ciaran O’Donoghue, a director and shareholder at Iqon, said creditors have already given full backing to the firm’s plans to take on extra investment and overhaul its business model.

“We have decided to cut out the big volume deals with high street multiples and focus more on our

traditional PC business, contract manufacturing and our French operation,” he said.

“It is the examiner’s role to approve new investment and restructure historical debt. Investment will be a mixture of personal investment from me and a French group.”

Nick Boardman, managing director of rival PC builder Rock, said: “Iqon’s model was unsustainable. When you are geared around being the cheapest in the market, you do not have a business as someone will always undercut you.

Mark Ancell, head of intelligence at Graydon UK, said: “This is another example of a small IT manufacturer going through difficult times. The UK and Ireland markets are very close and it is obvious that the credit crunch is having an effect on everybody.”