As recently reported (CI No 1,116), IBM dealer The Professional Connection Ltd of Fareham, Hampshire, has acquired Tristar Data Systems Ltd, an IBM and Compaq dealer based in Finsbury Square, London. The Professional Connection, with a turnover of UKP3.0m last year, raised the cash to buy Tristar (turnover of UKP2.4m) from its own internal resources. Tristar was put up for sale by its owner the quality furniture distributor Centercore UK Ltd, and The Professional Connection bought the company to run it as a separate corporate entity. The Hampshire company offers four types of service: training, engineering and maintenance, specialist media conversion (offering clients who are changing systems the conversion of their data from one system to the other), and bespoke networking program design. Tristar offers training, engineering and maintenance services, and was acquired because The Professional Connection intends to focus its growth on its training and field services. In this direction Tristar offers a good, purpose-built, well-equipped training facility in the City, staffed with skilled trainers. This has obvious geographical advantages over The Professional Connection’s base on the South Coast, which some clients were reluctant to visit because of its distance from London. The Professional Connection is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the holding company Mallard Ltd, sister subsidiaries being The Software Connection, and Electronic Data Interchange. Robert Eatwell, managing director of The Professional Connection, said that Mallard is looking to build the number of companies that it owns in a plan to realise or float the group in the early 1990s. And, as a part of this plan, it is now looking at the acquisition of a company with a specialist product in the financial and banking sector.