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Tech Data axes ME operation

Tech Data, one of the Middle East’s best-known names in the industry, is withdrawing from the region, blaming “increasingly difficult” market conditions for its exit.

Tech Data, one of the Middle East’s best-known names in the industry, is withdrawing from the region, blaming “increasingly difficult” market conditions for its exit.

Rival Aptec Holding is scheduled to hold a press conference today [March 22], where it will announce that it has formed a new business unit — Track Distribution Middle East (TDME) — which will take on the US-owned distributor’s enterprise and components business.

In a statement, Tech Data said that the “majority” of its staff had been offered employment in the new operation. Tech Data claims to have 120 staff in the region and has previously claimed that its regional turnover last year was US$360million.

Hanspeter Eiselt, managing director of Tech Data Middle East, said in the statement that the decision to exit the market was made with “much regret”, but claimed the move was in the firm’s best interests.

“In the past, we have enjoyed considerable success in the Middle East but changes to market conditions have made it increasingly difficult for Tech Data to operate profitably in the region,” he said. “The decision to exit this market has been made in the best long-term interests of the company and its shareholders.”

Speculation about Tech Data’s commitment to the market had been building for some time, with the firm cutting its ties with its main vendor partner, HP, last week.

While the firm had previously said it was firmly committed to the region, it has struggled to establish strong operations outside the UAE, in particular in Saudi Arabia.

Aptec’s TDME operation will be run from Tech Data’s Dubai office, to help “enhance business continuity”.

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