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Acer ponders new distribution partner

Notebook PC vendor claims it is in talks with potential replacements following recent fall-out with Tech Data.

Acer Middle East boss Krishna Murthy has revealed to Channel Middle East that the PC vendor is considering appointing a sixth distribution partner to serve the Middle East.

Acer's regional distribution line-up has been one short since Tech Data Middle East made the shock decision to cancel its contract with the vendor in the week prior to parts of its business being sold to Aptec and the subsequent closure of its UAE office.

The loss of Tech Data means Acer now addresses the bulk of the commercial market in the Middle East - excluding Saudi Arabia - through just two distributors: Aptec and Emitac.

"The so called fall-out with Tech Data has been a little disruptive," admitted Murthy, who revealed that Tech Data severed the contract just weeks after confirming to Acer that it was committed to their relationship in the Middle East.

"We are currently talking to a few distributors, but this process will take some time. If we are to change things and put someone new in place then we need to look at their entity and see how it fits into our channel structure. A decision on how we are going to manage the distribution channel in light of what has happened will be made very soon."

While the appointment of a third regional, commercial-focused distributor looks likely, Murthy also makes it clear that the vendor is prepared to continue with just two wholesalers if it proves workable.

"A lot depends on how aggressive the existing distributors are being during this quarter," he explained. "We are seeing how the other distributors are following what has happened and whether they can act fast enough to grow the market share rapidly."

In addition to Emitac and Aptec in the corporate environment, Acer employs Jumbo, Redington and Derinton International to target the consumer market across various countries in the GCC.

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