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Business/Economy

Ingram Micro sold to Chinese company; officials say no negative local impact

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Both a corporate spokesman and the head of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce say the sale of Ingram Micro to a Chinese firm will have no negative impact on the company's large Western New York workforce.

Ingram Micro, which produces components for information technology, is being acquired by HNA Group for a reported $6 billion and, assuming it clears all hurdles, will close in the second half of this year.

A spokesman for Ingram Micro told WBFO that HNA is looking to improve its shipping infrastructure and that Ingram Micro's info-tech solutions appeals to that company.

"For us we really view this as an exciting opportunity to be able to invest in the future beyond the next quarter, being able to work with our vendor partners, with our customers, to help them achieve their business objectives," said Damon Wright, executive director of investor relations for Ingram Micro, which is headquartered in California. 

The most recent available numbers estimate Ingram Micro's workforce in Amherst near 1,500 people. The leader of an Amherst-based business group says her organization has been assured by the company that local operations will not be adversely affected by this sale.

"Certainly whenever ownership transfers, we worry about the impact on jobs in our community," said Colleen DiPirro, president and CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. "I've been assured by the principals at Ingram Micro that there will be no change. There will be no loss of employment. There will be no downsizing of their infrastructure."

DiPirro noted that while Ingram Micro represents a significant employer within her town, the company's importance to the local economy extends far outside Amherst's borders.

"They don't employ just Amherst residents," she said. " At one point they had a significant representation from Niagara County. If we think as a region and want to respond to the needs of businesses that want to come here or grow here, we have to think about what's best for them and their employees. It benefits all of us."

Some attempts by Chinese firms to acquire US-based technology companies has raised concerns among lawmakers, as reported recently by the New York Times. Wright says this transaction, however, is no cause for worry.

"Good chances are that the PC you might be sitting in front of is now sourced, manufactured or assembled in China, has touched China some way in the supply chain before it gets to Ingram Micro," Wright said. "The vast majority of our business is just facilitating the movement of other people's technology to an end user."