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Chessington, February 10, 2003 – Ideal, the UK arm of Bell Microproducts Inc., has today announced that it is to distribute hard drives for Western Digital, one of the leading manufacturers of disk drives.

The announcement comes about as a result of Western Digital signing Bell Microproducts as a global distribution partner.

Thanks to the Western Digital signing, Ideal now boasts the most complete range of IDE hard disk drives in the UK channel, confirming its position as the leading storage distributor in the market. Ideal will be focusing primarily on the OEM and system builder market but will explore opportunities with resellers and integrators based on Western Digital’s retail and USB drive ranges as they arise.

Ideal now carries all the major hard drive vendors’ products, enabling it to cater for the needs of resellers and integrators from virtually any sector of the UK economy.

Seamus Twohig, Director, Product Marketing at Ideal said that excellence in data storage was one of Ideal’s key differentiators. “Since 1987 Ideal has stood apart from the crowd by being able to offer the highest standards of technical support, sales support and market knowledge. This has made us an invaluable partner to our reseller customers and the manufacturers. Signing a pan-European deal with Western Digital is very important to us; it sends a clear message out to the market – if you want the best range of storage solutions from the leading manufacturers there is only one distributor to talk to.”

Western Digital has a reputation for supplying high calibre products. This, combined with its growing market share and its commitment to the channel make Western Digital a key vendor partner for Ideal and Bell Microproducts Europe.

“Western Digital has a strategy of working with pan-European distributors and also with particularly strong local distributors”, said Klaas deVos, VP and General Manager EMEA “By signing Bell Microproducts Europe we have been able to find a combination of both these factors. Ideal’s reputation as the leading storage distributor in the UK bodes well for this relationship and we look forward to working with them.”


Ends

For further information, pics, interviews, please contact Ambrose McNevin 020 8444 7649
ambrosemcnevin@transom-media.co.uk, or Sean Fleming 07736 250 570 sean@seanfleming.com

About Ideal

Ideal is the UK division of Bell Microproducts Europe. Bell Microproducts Europe is a unique channel focused supplier of hardware and software products and services ranging from components to high-level consultancy.

Each Bell Microproducts Europe business operates in the following key technology markets:
Enterprise Solutions - Focusing on high-end storage solutions. Branded as Ideal Enterprise Solutions in UK and Bell Microproducts Solutions in all other European territories.
Systems - Focusing primarily on the Intel based server, desktop and mobile
Markets;

Software - Focusing on the sales of software, primarily through its on-online licensing tool LDi (Licence Desk internet);

Mass Storage - Focusing on disk drives and storage components;
Professional Services - Storage consultancy engaging with end users to create a market for resellers.

Bell Microproducts Europe is headquartered in Chessington in the UK with operations in France (Paris) Germany (Munich); Italy (Milan); Netherlands (Amersfoort); Belgium (Brussels); and Sweden (Stockholm).

Bell Microproducts Solutions is headquartered in Almere, The Netherlands with operations in Belgium (Brussels), Germany (Frankfurt) and Austria (Vienna).

Bell Microproducts Europe is part of the $2 billion NASDAQ listed Bell Microproducts Inc, one of the world's largest storage focused IT companies operating from more than 40 locations, and employing over 1,100 people across the US, Canada, Latin America, the UK and Europe.

In the UK Bell Microproducts Europe owns and operates Ideal Hardware. Ideal Hardware was voted Storage Distributor of the Year at the Computer Reseller News Channel Awards 2002 for the fourth consecutive year.


About Bell Microproducts

Bell Microproducts is an international, value-added provider of a wide range of high-technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial markets. The company is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors with offices in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in the company's SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at www.bellmicro.com.


Safe Harbor Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.


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