Midwich remains trade only after Owl disposal

Midwich remains trade only after Owl disposal

Distributor completes sale of end-user services division to reseller Solutions AV

Audiovisual (AV) distributor Midwich has offloaded Owl Visual Systems’ direct arm after buying its troubled rival from administration.

Midwich snapped up the distributor’s business on the same day the firm entered administration after profitability problems forced it to cease trading. But to retain its trade-only status, Midwich immediately sold Owl’s end-user services arm, USL Audio Visual, to reseller Solutions AV.

Owl’s demise comes as new figures from research house Context reveal average selling prices of projectors through UK distributors fell by over 10 per cent month on month in December ­ see graph.

Steven Fenby, financial director at Midwich, said his top priority was to re-establish Owl’s vendor contracts.
“We want Owl to stay as an independent trading division of Midwich as it is strong in the leisure sector and there are a number of brands it carries that we would like to sign up again,” Fenby said. “The biggest is probably Mitsubishi.”

Darren Lewitt, divisional director at Midwich, denied that Owl’s past financial difficulties would be an obstacle to its growth.

“Owl’s cost base may not have been right, but it has a good brand name. With Midwich’s support we can get it back to where it was 18 months ago,” he said.

Nitin Joshi, founder of channel consultancy ChannelMoney, said: “I give brownie points to Midwich for seizing this opportunity. It is an asset purchase so there is no window for creditors, which is the only way in this climate.”

Greg Hughes, director of Solutions AV, said: “We operate as a systems integrator for the Ministry of Defence, public schools and universities. USL is an excellent fit in the education market.”