Insight Acquires Treasure Chest

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Computer direct marketer Insight Enterprises, Tempe, AZ, deepened its product selection and extended its customer base last week by acquiring Treasure Chest Computers Inc., New Orleans, for $10 million of Insight common stock, with additional profitability considerations.


The purchase bulks up the number of Insight's motherboard offerings to about 20 from only three or four previously. Treasure Chest, meanwhile, is watching its offerings expand to about 50,000 products from 2,000 as a result of the deal. The two direct marketers have a customer overlap of only about 10 percent, and Treasure Chest's buyers have demonstrated a willingness to buy over the Web, said Stanley Laybourne, Insight's chief financial officer.


"If you look back nine, 12 months, 20 percent of (Treasure Chest's) sales have been unassisted Internet sales," Laybourne said. "So the customer that they're getting is a very technically savvy customer, and that's certainly something that's appealing to us simply because that is such a big focus of Insight. We believe e-commerce will definitely be a larger and larger portion of our business as soon as the business buyer adopts it more."


Analysts estimate the deal will become accretive to Insight in the second half of 1999. Treasure Chest had sales of $50 million in the 12 months ended July 31, while Insight's 12-month sales for the period ended June 30 were about $800 million.


Laybourne said Insight is looking at more acquisitions and the company's strategic focus is in the international arena, particularly Europe. In April, it closed its first acquisition, buying Choice Peripherals, a U.K. computer direct marketer whose sales were mostly consumer-oriented. A full 91 percent of Insight's revenue comes from business customers, including government and education, while 40 percent of Treasure Chest's sales are to businesses.


Insight reported revenue of $237 million in the second quarter of 1998, up 70 percent from the same period the year before. Earnings for the quarter were $4.7 million, a 59 percent improvement on the second quarter of 1997.

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