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Bell Microproducts Europe Limited, the European arm of world-wide value-added storage distributor Bell Microproducts Inc., today announces some significant changes in the management of its European operations.

Ian French, CEO of Ideal Hardware Limited – Bell Microproducts’ UK subsidiary, is increasingly focussing his time on acquisitions and European growth and has now been appointed President of European Operations. “The work we have undertaken within the European Infrastructure now requires the majority of my focus. We have completed the set up of five new subsidiaries in the past six months as well as developing an infrastructure to support them. The objective is to ensure that Bell Microproducts Europe will become Europe’s definitive storage services distributor.”

To reflect the increasing importance of the European growth plan, Steve Lundy – previously Finance & Operations Director for Ideal – will take a senior role within Europe as Bell Microproducts Europe Limited’s Chief Financial Officer. “Steve will be responsible for managing acquisitions and ensuring that Bell Microproducts has the correct logistics and finance infrastructure to enable the Group’s expansion,” says Ian French.

To ensure the ongoing success of Ideal, Alex Tatham, previously Ideal’s Commercial Director, will become Country Manager responsible for the UK subsidiaries and trading in the UK, reporting directly to Ian French. “This is an exciting time for us,” says Alex. “Ideal in the UK will continue its very successful growth in sales and value added services for the channel, particularly focussing on enterprise storage. I am delighted with the opportunity to drive such a dynamic company.”

Nick Lee has been promoted to be Ideal’s Finance Director and will report through Alex Tatham to the European Holding Company. Nick was previously Ideal’s Company Secretary and Financial Controller.

With Gordon Milner continuing to direct all sales activities and Mark Walker and Seamus Twohig running all Vendor and Product groups, the Ideal Board structure is not only very experienced, but also has the ability to continue to innovate within the Channel.

Ian French, who will continue as CEO of Ideal, comments: “This is the most exciting and dynamic opportunity in the European channel today. With a great team in place at Ideal and a rapidly growing European structure, I believe we are well placed to dominate the storage channel which is growing rapidly as new technologies such as SAN and NAS move from early adoption stage to commercial reality.”

The new Board are in the process of looking at the overall opportunities for our business and expect to make further announcements in due course.

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For further information please contact:
Wai Tang Ideal Hardware 020 8286 5000

Sharon Smith Ideal Press Office 020 7375 3633

Editor’s Notes:

Ideal Hardware Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of US based Bell Microproducts Inc., is a leading UK based value-added, storage-centric distributor focusing on the high end of the storage market. Ideal is also a leading distributor of Compaq servers, PCs and storage products and is one of only 12 Compaq distributors worldwide to be awarded the prestigious CIP accreditation for high-end products. Ideal has strategic relationships with approximately 80 suppliers of Enterprise storage, computer systems, software and media products. These strategic products are packaged with Ideal’s value-added programmes and services to provide complete NAS, SAS and SAN solutions.

Bell Microproducts Inc is an international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial marketplace. The company's offering includes semiconductors, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems and back-up products. Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors. The company's products are available at any level of integration from components, to subsystem assemblies, to fully integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel complete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9002 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 150 brand name product lines, as well as its own BellStor storage and Trademark(R) computer brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at

Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. 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 and information described from time to time in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regarding this and other transactions). 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.