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MicroAge Trots Out Its Numbers<@VM>Merisel Begins New Public Sector Program<@VM>Dell Unveils Low-Cost Server Product

- Richard McCaffery

For the first time ever, MicroAge Inc., the parent company of distributor Pinacor Inc., disclosed separate financial figures for its Tempe, Ariz.-based subsidiary.

MicroAge, a provider of IT services, divided its two business lines into separately operated divisions early last year and now plans to spin off, merge or sell Pinacor to increase shareholder value.

For the year ended Nov. 1, Pinacor reported earnings of $57 million on sales of $5 billion. For the fourth quarter it had earnings of $25 million on sales of $1.4 billion.

Pinacor is the third largest computer products distributor in the United States, delivering products to more than 25,000 resellers.
Merisel Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., has kicked off a new program aimed at making it easier for U.S. resellers and integrators to sell products to federal, state and local government agencies, and to schools.

The program, called Public Sector Solutions, provides resellers with free sales and support services. The program will operate as part of Merisel's Government and Education division, headed by Curt Cornell, a former Ingram Micro executive.

Services Merisel will provide include General Services Administration schedule assistance, proposal support, technology refreshment, pricing updates, contract management support and help spotting new business opportunities.

In other news, Merisel expanded the financial services it offers. The company's new Channel Financial Services program is designed to help small resellers get financing. Services include unlimited credit based on credit worthiness and the size of the contract, long-term financing notes, an expanded financial services Web site and others.
Officials from Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas, expect their latest computer server to be an attractive offering for federal, state and local governments.

The low-end server, starting at $1,799, is the fourth generation of Dell's PowerEdge server line and the lowest cost server product the company has introduced.

Dell introduced the product Jan. 18 and expects it to be available through the General Services Administration within a month.

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