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Restructuring completed at Italian Leader

Leader SpA, one of the top distribution firms in Italy, has successfully completed a restructuring initiative which began at the start of this year, resulting in the creation of a group of nine individual companies covering different aspects of Leader's business.

Originally founded in 1984 as a distribution firm, Leader has diversified into a variety of other fields since then - including logistics, publishing, PR, online services and even a multiplayer event organiser.

These divisions will now each be housed in an individual company working autonomously within the group. The Leader name will be retained by the distribution arm, with publishing services under the banner of Lago, PR services using the name Pulsar Communications and logistics services using L & D.

The peripheral sales and marketing division will now be called IMS, the development division is Milestone, administration, financial and technology services will be covered by Leader Servizi, Smau/ILP is the new name for the division responsible for organising LAN and multiplayer events, and the online services division is now snappily titled Videogame. We think that's the lot....

Leader represents publishers in Italy including Eidos, Activision, Microsoft (including the Xbox account), Vivendi, Midway and Empire. Eidos is one happy customer - recently the group negotiated a sponsorship deal for them with Juventus for Championship Manager 4, and has also arranged high profile promotions for Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness.

"We are extremely pleased with our presence in Italy created by Leader Group," gushed Eidos export sales manager Chris Mehers. "They offer us a menu of services, for both our console and PC titles, which we can pick and choose from to suit our needs."

"The Italian market is changing," explains Leader group founder and president John Holder. "In particular, the widespread use of the Internet has created new markets and opportunities that we are now in a position to fully exploit. The new structure allows us and our clients to more easily identify which services are required and enable us to further strengthen our position as the premier partner for publishers, hardware and peripherals manufacturers in Italy.â

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.