CDW buys Micro Warehouse assets

CDW Corp. is buying the assets of Micro Warehouse Inc. for about $22 million, the companies announced today. Micro Warehouse's commercial and government units will become part of CDW.

The sale includes Micro Warehouse's U.S. customer base, which last month produced about $900 million on an annualized basis, and its less lucrative Canadian arm. CDW gets Micro Warehouse's existing inventories, trademarks and copyrights but not its accounts receivable or liabilities.

Several former CDW employees who had earlier this year gone to work for Micro Warehouse no longer work for the organization, said William Shafley, who was hired in February to expand Micro Warehouse's federal division after leaving CDW Government.

"Anybody who had worked for CDW is no longer working there," Shafley said. "It happened today." He declined to comment further.

Micro Warehouse hired Shafley to promote aggressive growth, according to a February interview with Scott Lewis, who at the time had just left research firm Input to lead Micro Warehouse's federal business. Shafley hired Lewis and expected to hire about 300 people, Lewis said in February.

Micro Warehouse may have caused its own demise with such aggressive growth, said Alan Bechara, president of rival reseller PC Mall Gov Inc.

"We try to operate a model that is really solid, steady growth, try to make an investment that is for the long run," he said, adding that Micro Warehouse "may have gotten too aggressive. From what I understand there was more than 100 people brought in."

Bechara questioned the value of the deal for CDW.

"It's bargain basement price, so CDW has done well for themselves and that may be the motivation," he said. "It may not be hugely accumulative, but there may be some customers they can acquire through this acquisition."

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