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TigerDirect Sold To PCM

PCM, formerly PC Mall, has agreed to purchase Systemax’s TigerDirect brand and some of the B-to-B assets of its North American tech division for $14 million in cash.

The deal is expected to close on Dec. 1.

The sale will effectively end Systemax’s spotty retail legacy, which included a multimillion-dollar kickback scam by TigerDirect’s founding Fiorentino brothers, who are now serving federal sentences.

Systemax plans to close its last three retail stores and lone distribution center following the transaction, and will completely exit its remaining North American retail operations “in order to devote all of our time and resources on our other businesses,” chairman/CEO Richard Leeds said.

Systemax’s other divisions include an industrial products group, a European B-to-B unit, and education- and government-channel operations.

Besides the TigerDirect brand, PCM will be acquiring its B-to-B customer list in North America, certain customer and vendor contracts, and the right to hire about 400 of the company’s B-to-B sales reps across the U.S. and Canada.

PCM, parent to MacMall, is a $1.4 billion direct marketer of technology products, services and solutions to the business, government and educational channels. Last year it closed MacMall’s four brick-and-mortar stores as part of an ongoing transition from computer marketer to IT solutions provider.

“This is an exciting acquisition intended to allow us to further leverage our operating infrastructure and bring our comprehensive solutions offerings to an expanded customer base,” said PCM chairman/CEO Frank Khulusi.

TigerDirect was founded in 1987 by Carl and Gilbert Fiorentino. The brothers continued to run the operation after selling it to Systemax in 1996, and eventually built a 40-plus-store chain that stretched from Florida to Canada. Efforts to expand the business by acquiring CompUSA and in bankruptcy sales failed, and they later plead guilty to federal charges for accepting millions in bribes and kickbacks from vendors.