The following press release was issued by Systemax.

PORT WASHINGTON, NY, Oct. 19, 1999 -- Systemax Inc. (NYSE: SYX) has acquired the assets, customer lists, name, and trademarks of the Proteva brand personal computer business. Proteva PCs are best known for their impressive distribution through large national and regional mass merchandisers and consumer electronics chains. Customers include Sears (NYSE: S), Value America (NMS: VUSA), and The Wiz unit of Cablevision Systems (AMEX: CVC).

Richard Leeds, Systemax Chairman and CEO, said the acquisition is part of Systemax's highly successful strategy of creating a national PC brand on an economical basis by consolidating the largely unbranded "white box" market, which accounts for more than 50% of all PCs sold. Mr. Leeds said Proteva would become part of Systemax's existing domestic PC sales, assembly and service operation.

Proteva filed a bankruptcy petition under Chapter XI on August 30, 1999. Mr. Leeds said Systemax acquired the assets for an undisclosed amount of cash and the assumption of certain obligations. Proteva, which was established in 1988 and was privately held, is based in Posen, Illinois. In addition to Proteva's skilled work force, well known brand and current sales and distribution channels, Mr. Leeds stated that the purchase provides a number of additional strategic advantages:

  • Proteva's assembly operation has the capacity to produce more than 200,000 build to order PCs a year, significantly adding to Systemax's capacity to meet increasing demands.

  • Proteva has an experienced sales force serving retailers and value added resellers.

  • Proteva has been very successful at placing in-store kiosks where consumers can electronically purchase build to order PCs, eliminating the need for costly in-store inventory.

"Combined with Systemax's domestic PC operations, the Proteva assets will enable us to keep up with demand and further expand our penetration in the retail channel," said Mr. Leeds.