Box-shifters face Sony threat

As well as offering disc duplication services for all Sony games software, plus music CDs, UMDs and DVDs, the Austria-based Sony DADC provides the likes of copy protection, artwork and packaging services. In addition, it already delivers product direct to some UK retail chains.

But, in a move that is likely to cause some concern to existing UK primary distribution businesses, the Sony outfit is set to increase its presence here, establishing a base and offering a full logistics service to publishers.

MCV understands that Sony DADC is currently considering the possibility of acquiring an existing local logistics business. But an organic move into the UK hasn’t been ruled out.

Currently, the leading primary distribution outfit in the UK is PDQ, part of the Centresoft group. Based in Birmingham, the company boasts the likes of Codemasters, THQ, Activision, Empire, Atari, Sega and Konami within its portfolio of publisher clients.

The Andromeda group established the Hertfordshire-based Logistics division two years ago. It suffered something of a set-back last December when it was forced to close due to the Buncefield Oil Depot fire, but has since relocated to Radlett. A question mark remains over where the division is heading, however, with Andromeda group chairman Robert Stein admitting to MCV earlier this year that he wants to focus on core distribution business. An MBO by Logistics’ current MD Matthew Allen was tipped as a possibility (MCV 20/1).

The Producers, based in Cambridge, is one of the UK’s longest-established primary distribution companies, with a client roster featuring EA, Sold Out, Just Flight, Mastertronic and NovaLogic.

Meanwhile, Gem has recently opened a new 110,000 square foot warehouse centre in Accrington, with plans to use the additional facility to push into the logistics sector.

MCV believes that an official Sony announcement will be made within the next few weeks.


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