It looks like the Watford Electronics group has hit the financial skids. According to contacts at various suppliers, the company - the driving force behind the Redten internet service provider and owner of the savastore web site and various well-known PC brands (Aries, Carrera, Demonite, Time, Tiny) - is undergoing a monetary crisis.
We've been unable to get Watford to confirm or deny these rumours - but were told at around 3:40pm today (Feb 1) that the Financial Director Ricky Raqeeb would call us back. As yet, though, we've heard nothing.
If the company does end up going to the wall, it will be - in the erudite words of one HEXUS.community pundit - déja vu all over again.
This is a reference to the fact that Watford owns a number of PC brands that were acquired as the result of financial disasters.
Watford eventually picked up the Time and Tiny brands from the ashes of the Granville Technology Group's crash in mid-2005 and did much the same with another couple of multi-owned UK PC brands, Carrera and Demonite, after Digital Networks PLC went down the tubes.
And, as the companies that were involved with those brands did while the storm clouds gathered overhead, Watford looks still to be trading normally.
We've just visited (Feb 1, 5:15pm) the Redten site where we saw no indication that anything is wrong. We were able to sign up for a new broadband account - but stopped at the stage where we had to input out credit-card details.
Similarly, 15 minutes later, there was nothing on the savastore site to warn of any difficulties. We were able to customise a PC system for purchasing - only pulling out when it came to the plastic-money stage.
Clearly, until we know exactly what's going on, the only advice we can give HEXUS vistors is not to buy any products or services from any company known to be owned or partly owned by Watford Electronics.
When we get any news, we'll update this article and the associated HEXUS.community forum thread and put up front-pagers. Until then - take care.
Thoughts? Share them with us in the HEXUS.community, not forgetting to tell us what you know about the situation at Watford, savastore and Redten - and your experiences with companies that went to the wall in the past.
HEXUS.linksHEXUS.community :: discussion thread about this article
HEXUS.hardlines :: Time and Tiny Stores Close
HEXUS.press.releases :: Watford Electronics Ltd acquires Carrera and Demonite brands
External.linkssavastore - home page
Redten Internet - home page