Gem snaps up French distributor

The firm has bought out Paris-based Banque Magnetique – which enjoys sales of €245m (170m) – for an undisclosed sum.

Banque Magnetique customers include top French IT and electrical retailers, dot-com companies and supermarkets. The company boasts a product range consisting of many brands Gem already handles, including Logitech, Creative, Netgear, Pinnacle Systems and Linksys.

It is also a key distributor of satellite navigation products from vendors including Via Michelin and Navman. Gem believes that the move will allow ‘more synergy’ between the two businesses’ product base in the UK and France.

Gem managing director Chris Peacock said: This acquisition is extremely exciting to both companies, establishing us as a pan-European distributor, something that many of our customers and suppliers have wanted Gem to achieve. It will also provide growth opportunities for both companies as we look to expand our product strategies together”.

Executive Chairman of Gem parent DCC Jim Flavin added: Banque Magnetique is an excellently managed business which has experienced strong growth over the past three years. The acquisition will significantly strengthen Gem’s position in European retail consumer electronics distribution.

Banque Magnetique will retain its name and employees after the deal. The acquisition is subject to clearance from the French competition authorities.

The move is part of Gem’s ambitions to become a truly pan-European company, and its general expansion. It revealed a new ‘identity’ in August, rebranding and splitting its operation into four departments: Gem, Gem Logistics, Gem Creative and Exspect.

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