By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Electrograph Sytems, a value-added distributor of display technology solutions and plasma display monitors to the professional, commercial and high-end consumer markets, will be acquired along with its corporate parent, Manchester Technologies, by a private equity firm for about $56 million.
The buyer, New York-based Caxton-Iseman Capital, is expected to close the cash transaction this summer, pending shareholder approval and completion of debt financing.
Under terms of the deal, the company will operate as a private enterprise under the name Electrograph Systems. Alan Marc Smith, the former president/ CEO of Westcon Group, a distributor of networking and communications equipment, will invest alongside Caxton-Iseman in the transaction and become CEO of Electrograph. Sam Taylor, the current president of Electrograph, will remain in his position and will also invest in the transaction.
Barry Steinberg, CEO of Manchester, will leave the 33-year-old company, which distributes computer hardware and, through its Electrograph subsidiary, flat-panel displays.
“Electrograph is an ideal platform from which to capitalize on the dramatic growth in the market for plasma and LCD display solutions,” said Robert Ferris, a managing director of Caxton-Iseman. “As the market for these products expands in the coming years, we believe that manufacturers will come to rely more heavily on value-added distributors that have a unique ability to reach the market's integrators, resellers and their end customers. Electrograph has built exceptional relationships with its vendors and customers, including designers of fully integrated audio-visual systems. As such, the business is well positioned to enter new complementary product areas and geographies through both organic growth and acquisitions.”
Founded in 1982, Electrograph offers a comprehensive selection of large format displays and associated peripherals, and operates a nationwide sales and service network. It generated revenues of approximately $150 million in the fiscal year ended July 31, 2004.
Taylor noted that under new ownership the company will “actively pursue new ways to add value” for its customers and vendors.
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