Retail Solutions - PC-PoS swoops on NSB hardware support arm

Specialist EPoS provider PC-PoS has acquired the hardware services and support business of IT vendor NSB, which has seen its share price fall significantly in recent months.

The sale, for an as yet undisclosed sum, comes at a time when many IT suppliers are increasing emphasis on lucrative and ongoing maintenance and support operations.

PC-PoS, formed in 1994, has grown steadily in the past few years and now holds second place in the UK for sales of EPoS hardware, with similar success in the US and Europe.

It is planning to rebrand in coming months to DigiPoS Systems Group - the name used for its EPoS products.

PC-PoS acquired the Vista maintenance organisation a year ago and the new acquisition will create a total field force of 100 service engineers and a help-desk/telesupport team of 40. As part of the deal, PC-PoS will gradually take over servicing for existing NSB customers.

'Before making a decision we reviewed the market to find the right partner to take responsibility for the operation - a partner with the right focus and ability to invest,' said NSB chief executive Nikki Beckett. 'We are handing over our hardware business with confidence to a company that we consider to be one of the most successful hardware services providers in our market.'

NSB has suffered mixed fortunes since its acquisition of Canadian retail IT company STS three years ago. Despite some high-profile wins - such as US multiple JC Penney - it has reduced the scale of its UK operations, with a number of redundancies and the bulk of system development work switched to Montreal, where STS was headquartered.

- NSB will be on stand H24 at Retail Solutions 2003.