Mayo-based data storage firm plans AIM listing


22 May 2008

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A 20-year-old data storage distributor that operates between Kiltimagh in Mayo and the UK is recording a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 33pc and is on track to become a €400m company in the next three to four years.

Knock native Frank Salmon, CMS Peripherals’ managing director told siliconrepublic.com that if the company continues to sustain this growth rate, it will seek a listing on the developing companies market in the UK, the AIM.

Salmon set up the business in 1988 and after the company’s then owner Stonehaven was sold on, bought the company as a going concern with debt for £3 sterling in 1990.

The company has since grown to record €155m in the last year and employs 155 people between Ireland and the UK.

The company is a vendor for major storage operators including APC, CA, Pillar Data Systems, Plantronics, Quantum, Seagate, Symantec and Western Digital.

The company’s services range from major enterprise storage rollouts for corporates to consumer storage devices like MP3 players and USB keys. The company’s business mix is split 60pc business-to-business and 40pc consumer. However, it is the latter segment that the company anticipates strong growth in the years ahead.

“If we were to achieve growth in excess of 35pc going forward, we would seek a potential listing on the AIM market in order to raise finance for growth and expansion of the business,” Salmon told siliconrepublic.com.

“Right now we have a five-year plan to take the business to a €400m-a-year business by 2012.

“While growth over the years was enterprise storage, we see a major shift in the direction of consumer because everyone will want their data to be portable.

“We play to a small niche area that is growing at a rate of 20pc and we believe that will hold up.

“Even if we are entering into an economic downturn, it will hold up. If people aren’t spending their money in pubs and restaurants, they might be spending more time on the internet downloading stuff,” Salmon said.

From an enterprise perspective, Salmon says virtualisation is driving storage demand. “This is particularly true due to regulatory compliance. For businesses, being able to trawl through several years of records and instantaneously pinpoint documents will be very important.”

Salmon’s colleague Joe Fagan, group product marketing manager, said businesses are seeing storage as a vital component in organisational structure going forward.

“Storage is driving the CIOs’ interest. If you can get the IT piece right, you can drive operational efficiencies elsewhere,” Fagan said.

By John Kennedy

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