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Synnex Canada executive named newsmaker for 2007

Jim Estill reflects on organic growth

Usually we see Jim Estill in the upper half of the Top 25 Newsmakers list.

Estill took the No. 1 spot a few years ago. He is down one spot from last year.

Estill along with Tech Data’s Rick Reid, are the only two remaining people who have managed to make the list each year. CDN started the Top 25 Newsmakers seven years ago.

It’s not that Estill had an insignificant year, but to his own admission a lot of the growth was organic, which does not make for major headlines.

Synnex did buy 620,000 square feet of warehouse space in Guelph, Ont. near its EMJ headquarters. Synnex Canada succesfully moved in and began operating quickly. This space was formerly the Imperial Tobacco warehouse so it was ideally suited for light weight, high value computer goods, Estill said.

“This also allows us to reduce our overheads which is critical in this industry,” he said.

Estill did pull the trigger on a major acquisition earlier in the year. The company acquire substantially all of the assets of Redmond Group of Companies (RGC), including AVS Technologies, an independent distributor of consumer electronics for about $45 million, including $10 million in debt assumption.

“Both of these companies are very strong in consumer brands sold through retail. This really moved us forward in the consumer space, he said.

This acquisition enabled Synnex Canada to expand its depth and focus on consumer electronics distribution. With AVS on board, Synnex now has popular product lines from Sandisk, Uniden, Cobra, Citizen and Electrohome.

Estill was also a major figure for Synnex after the resignation of president John Paget.

Both he and Peter Larocque, the head of U.S. distribution, took over Paget’s duties for a short while.