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Desperate Dan rescued by buyout

PC maker drums up new cash to stay afloat

The management of London-based PC maker Dan Technology has bought the company from its founder Gideon Easterman and city institutional investors, securing a fresh injection of £2.5m in the process.

Dan was making around £30m last year and wanted to grow, but instead was going backwards, sources say. The £2.5m lump sum should be enough to allow time for recovery.

The new capital investment will be used to expand Dan's operations in supplying educational establishments and the public sector, said Dan marketing manager Paul Tobin. But the company won't be turning its back on its traditional consumer and small business customers, he said.

"Dan's never been the cheapest, but the service and reliability make it worthwhile," said Tobin. "Customers understand that there's other buying criteria than just price."

Dan's new chief executive, Raymond Yager, joined the company from Apple in June 2001 as financial director. Richard Crisp, who has been Dan's professional services manager since October 2000, is now sales director.

The new investors include Luke Johnson, a venture capitalist whose interests include chairmanship of the Belgo chain of restaurants, Stephen Conway, a property magnate with investments in London's Docklands and County Hall and Gary Sacks, chairman of City Docklands Investments.

Founded in 1988, Dan became the darling of the UK computer press, winning numerous awards for customer service from several magazines, including accolades in the Consumers Association Which? reports.

But more recently, the company hit troubled waters — Alan Davis and Dave Roberts, respectively the managing director and sales and marketing director, left the company last September, and staff numbers were 'streamlined' with lay-offs at the end of last year.

Dan currently employs around 150 people.

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