Midwich Group moves into French market

AUTHOR: Inavate

Midwich has announced that it has acquired the trade and certain assets of French audio visual distributor SIDEV through its newly formed subsidiary, Midwich France SAS.

Founded in 1990, SIDEV has offices in Lyon and Paris and is a trade-only distributor of audio visual products to AV dealers, IT resellers and custom installers for the residential market.

Following financial problems with its group, SIDEV has operated under the supervision of the French Court for over a year. Despite this difficult situation, the company achieved sales in 2009 of around €9m. SIDEV has a portfolio of strong brands, including Hitachi, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung and Sanyo.

SIDEV will continue to be run by its current director, Marc Piegay who commented: “After a very challenging year, the team at SIDEV is delighted with this transaction. Our greatest frustration in the past year has been our inability to carry enough stock, caused by the lack of credit available to us. In the circumstances, our customers and vendors have been very understanding, although we have inevitably lost some business. Throughout this time our core team has remained, so with stocks now being replenished quickly, we aim to restore the business to its previous levels.”

Stephen Fenby, the finance director of Midwich, who led the transaction, added: “The French AV market interests us because it is one of the three largest in Europe, but does not have a dominant distributor. Marc and his team have an excellent reputation in the French market, but have lacked the investment and support to take advantage of this fully. Initial vendor feedback on this transaction has been very encouraging, both from SIDEV’s current vendors and from Midwich group vendors who are interested in penetrating the French market.”