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EET Europarts acquires Avantis

Scandinavia: Danish multispecialist EET Europarts has acquired for an undisclosed amount network VAD Avantis Distribution, which is present in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The acquisition of Avantis Distribution is part of EET Europarts' ambitious growth strategy for the Storage & Network Security business. "We have been successfully growing the Storage & Network Security business in recent years, and we have expanded the product range significantly. The acquisition of Avantis Distribution will strengthen our position within wireless network and network security even more, and add new competences and brands to our portfolio", says Group CEO Søren Drewsen, EET Group. "Our business strategy is ambitious and targeted, and we want to grow our business areas organically as well as through acquisitions. The Avantis acquisition is our 7th acquisition this year and, as stated before, we are continuously on the lookout for companies that show interest in being acquired", adds the Group CEO.

As part of the acquisition, EET Europarts will take over a team of experienced employees from Avantis Distribution. The employees will become part of the local EET Europarts sales entities in respectively Denmark, Norway and Sweden. "We are very pleased with the acquisition of Avantis Distribution. We have been working determined to develop our product range within Storage & Network Security", says Bjørn Berg, Managing Director at EET Europarts Norway. "Avantis specializes within advanced wireless technology and security solutions, which means we will now be able to offer our customers even more cost-effective and stable wireless network and security solutions and products with high level of functionality. Wireless technology is constantly evolving and wireless communication is often used as a primary connection to applications and services. When the world is going more and more wireless it is importent to have focus on how to secure your network. I am convinced that our agile EET Europarts sales and distribution model in combination with Avantis' products, dedication and knowledge of secure wireless technology will ensure well-functioning and high quality solutions for our many network customers."

Midwich enters the Dutch market

Netherlands: AV broadliner Midwich has acquired a majority stake in AV specialist van Domburg Partners. Van Domburg joins Midwich offices in Australasia, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom. Stephen Fenby, Managing Director Midwich Group, commented: "the acquisition of Van Domburg marks Midwich's entry into the Benelux markets, enabling the Group to trade with a broad customer base across a variety of customer segments. The addition of this territory to the Group’s portfolio increases Midwich's geographical coverage, with the Group operating in territories which account for approximately 70% of the European audio visual market. I look forward to welcoming the van Domburg team into the Midwich Group, and working with them to further develop this exciting market."

The acquisition signals Midwich's entry into the Benelux, a market the Group has identified as important in its international expansion. The acquisition is further delivery of the Group's strength to grow its operations through a combination of organic developments and selected acquisitions. Midwich will acquire a majority stake from the two joint Managing Directors, with the option to acquire the remaining shares over the next three years. The Company's Managing Directors will continue to be responsible for the management of the business, and will remain in their current positions.

Rick ter Wee and Ed van Domburg, the managing directors of Van Domburg, commented: "from the outset of our conversations with the Midwich Group, the synergies between our two businesses were evident. With our strong local position, and with the backing and support of Midwich, it is clear this exciting partnership will enable Van Domburg to continue our growth in the audio visual, and high-end lighting markets. Midwich's audio visual specialism, and international market leading position made them the ideal partner for us. We look forward to working closely with them to develop our business in the Benelux."

Headquartered near Rotterdam, Van Domburg is a market leader in the Dutch large format displays market. In recent years, it has developed its technical video product portfolio, offering solutions in digital signage, control and connectivity amongst others. As well as leading the Dutch market in large format displays, its subsidiary "Dutch Light Pro" distributes high-end lighting products primarily to electrical contractors and installers. A key part of the company's proposition is to provide lighting design consultancy services.

Thomas Sumner, European Director Midwich Group, commented: "as with any Midwich acquisition our focus will continue to be on enhancing the service and support we provide our customers and vendor partners. We are delighted a market leader in specialist audio visual distribution has again decided to join the Midwich Group. We look forward to working with them and investing in this important market."

EET Europarts acquires A2L

France: with its sixth acquisition this year, Danish multispecialist EET Europarts takes over French AV specialist A2L for an undisclosed amount. "A2L is a very well-reputed niche distributor of Pro-AV solutions in France. The company provides a wide range of quality brands, products and technical solutions as well as highly qualified service and support to professional AV installers and integrators, and as such the company is a perfect match for us to continue to grow our Pro-AV & Digital Signage business further", says Søren Drewsen, Group CEO at EET Group. "Our ambition is to become one of the leading distributors of Pro-AV & Digital Signage in Europe before 2020, and the acquisition of A2L is one more step in that direction. It will add new competences and important brands to our portfolio as well as bring even more skilled and specialized employees into the organization, strengthening our value-added services to the Pro-AV customers."

As part of the acquisition, a team of experienced employees from A2L will join the EET Europarts Pro-AV team in France. Florent Berge, Managing Director at EET Europarts France, says: "A2L is well known for its dedicated Pro-AV technicians, who are technically skilled, trained and available to give technical support in order to research and select the products, brands and solutions best suited to match the customer's needs. Furthermore, A2L has a strong market position within Pro-AV solutions, serving the French market with high-end products from i.a. NEC Display & NEC Enterprise, Dynascan, Chief, Igel, Samsung etc. I am confident that this, in combination with EET Europarts´ business platform and unique and effective distribution model, will strongly support the growth of our Pro-AV business."

Group CEO Søren Drewsen concludes: "we are continuously on the lookout for companies that show interest in being acquired. Historically we have been very successful in performing acquisitions, and we have clearly demonstrated the ability to develop and grow the acquired business activities significantly with our expertise, our business model and our wide distribution network. Therefore, acquisitions are continuously an important part of our growth strategy, and we expect to complete more acquisitions in near future."

Exertis acquires MTR Group

United Kingdom: broadliner Exertis has acquired MTR Group, a service and solutions provider specialising in 2nd generation lifecycle extension of mobile, wearable and tablet devices. MTR employs 60 staff at its bespoke high-tech refurbishment facility in Harlow, Essex. It generated sales of €13.22 million for the twelve months ended 30 November 2016 and has seen significant and sustained year on year growth since its incorporation in 2011 by founders and co-owners Steve Healy and Andy Payne. The strong relationship that MTR has with Samsung will enable Exertis to deepen its business entanglement with this key strategic brand as well as providing the opportunity to leverage MTR’s refurbishment and reverse logistics capabilities, and jointly expand these services to a wider range of potential partners.

Gerry O'Keeffe, Exertis UK & Ireland managing director, said: "MTR has enjoyed considerable success in providing refurbishment capabilities in the mobile and tablet device market. The recent impressive growth in revenue and profitability is a testament to the reputation that it has earned in the channel, borne out of years of refurbishment experience, a sophisticated IT infrastructure and also continued investment in its impressive high-tech and scalable refurbishment facility. We are very excited to add this success story to the Exertis family and are looking forward to continued growth and providing further added value for our suppliers and customers."

Steve Healy, MTR, managing director, said: "as Exertis and MTR's core values are so well aligned, this acquisition made complete sense. The benefits and opportunities of this exciting new chapter will extend to our existing and new customers and vendors alike, further enhancing the range of services and products offered. By leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies, we can only add to what is already an exciting proposition for the relationships currently held. We look forward to working with the Exertis management teams and building on the success of both companies."

Andy Payne, MTR sales director, added: "we're extremely excited about the journey and opportunities that lie ahead. MTR has already established itself as a market leader with its refurbishment and supply capabilities along with reverse and life cycle management solutions. Coupled with Exertis' OEM and Network relationships, this acquisition will make for a formidable force within the mobile/recycling sector."

iRobot acquires its largest European distributor, Robopolis

iRobot, a leader in consumer robots, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Robopolis, based in Lyon, France. Following iRobot's recent acquisition of its distributor in Japan, the Robopolis acquisition will enable iRobot to capitalize on market momentum driving accelerated adoption of robots for the home. It will further enhance the company's distribution network, ensure global brand consistency and better serve the needs of European consumers while driving continued growth in Western Europe through a consistent approach to all market activities including sales, marketing, branding, channel relationships and customer service. Robopolis, an exclusive distributor of iRobot products since 2006 and the company's largest distributor in EMEA, sells across seven key markets in Western Europe, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. EMEA is a key strategic region for iRobot representing approximately 25% of its 2016 total revenue. Robopolis represented nearly half of iRobot's EMEA revenues in 2016.

"At this stage in the Western European market evolution, and the growth opportunity it presents, we feel a more direct go-to-market strategy is necessary to continue driving adoption of robots for the home", said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. "The Robopolis team has been instrumental in establishing iRobot as the leading consumer robotics brand in Western Europe. We look forward to them formally joining iRobot and working together to ensure continued growth."

Robopolis will be combined with iRobot's EMEA operations headquartered in London, UK. The existing Robopolis management team will join iRobot. Jean-Jacques Blanc, currently iRobot's vice president and general manager, Overseas, will lead the combined operations reporting to iRobot's chief operating officer Christian Cerda. iRobot will acquire the business for €130m, or approximately 0.9 times the trailing Robopolis twelve-month revenue ended June 2017, subject to customary purchase price adjustments set forth in the definitive purchase agreement. iRobot will pay cash for the acquisition. The acquisition is expected to contribute incremental revenue of approximately €23-€32m in 2017. Accordingly to this acquisition, Robopolis has been removed from ITdistri database.

IRIS-MEGA acquires Colby

Adriatics: Serbian gaming specialist IRIS-MEGA has entered into an exclusive and binding agreement to acquire Colby, a Slovenian counterpart, for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition follows just a month after IRIS-MEGA's acquisition of Videotop Skupina, another Slovenian gaming specialist. Colby will continue to operate as an independent company under the new Slovenian division, with all staff being retained. The acquisition leads IRIS-MEGA, part of the ComputerLand Group of Companies, in becoming the undisputed market leading gaming distributor across the Adriatics region, with a distinct focus in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.

Miodrag Stakic, CEO of ComputerLand Group, said: "the Slovenian market has been dominated by two distributors for more than 20 years. A month ago, we showcased our determination in expanding our strength in Adriatics through the purchase of Videotop. Our presence has already been felt and this acquisition of Colby displays our steely determination to succeed in our formidable goal."

Recently appointed Managing Director of the Slovenian division, Adam Harris added: "the Slovenian retail landscape has experienced a lull in recent years and we are excited to be charged with the honour of reinvigorating the market. Our vendor portfolio across the group now speaks for itself."

Žan Strnad, director of Colby, announced his enthusiasm in stating: "I am a firm believer that the consolidation of the Slovenian market through IRIS-MEGA's acquisitions will have a profound impact in the years to come. Now the market can look forward to the growth and support it deserved. IRIS-MEGA already has outstanding experience in representing our vendor portfolio who now couldn't be in better hands."

ELKO enters Nordic region by acquiring Gandalf

Scandinavia: Latvian broadliner ELKO Grupa has reached an agreement to acquire 85% of shares in Swedish broadliner Gandalf Distribution for an undisclosed amount. "ELKO has been looking for geographical expansion opportunities for some time", said Svens Dinsdorfs, CEO ELKO Group. "Gandalf's business model and operational structure is very similar to our own and thus we feel confident about this acquisition. Gandalf’s team is highly motivated and professional and we feel comfortable about the coming integration process and ensuing synergy. By becoming a part of the ELKO Group, Gandalf will be able to significantly expand its product portfolio and benefit from various competence-sharing initiatives."

Gandalf will become a part of the ELKO Group, but for now will continue to operate under the Gandalf brand. David Nicander will continue to work as the CEO and also remain as a minority shareholder of Gandalf Distribution. "Gandalf has for many years successfully grown together with our customers and partners, and today we have taken a new step towards the next level of distribution. I am personally very proud of the opportunity to become part of the ELKO Group, and all the positive opportunities that this gives us at Gandalf to grow and expand our business in the Nordics", says David Nicander, CEO Gandalf.

Three partnerships for CI Distribution and an acquisition for Purdicom

United Kingdom: PC component and peripheral specialist CI Distribution has teamed up with three new Channel partners as it looks to add to its product portfolio. The Basingstoke-based IT distie has expanded its product range in a number of directions by tying up deals with ARCTIC, BullGuard and Silicon Power. Swiss company ARCTIC specialises in quiet cooling systems for desktop PCs, while BullGuard provides IT security systems and Silicon Power manufactures memory and storage solutions.

Network and security VAD Purdicom has purchased the business assets of bankrupt network VAD UKB Solutions. This move signals Purdicom's new acquisition strategy that aims to boost its 25% annual growth – particularly in the CCTV sector – and rationalise the distributor channel for wireless manufacturers. Under the terms of the deal, Purdicom will continue serving UKB Solution's customers, primarily in the CCTV and security space. With the additional portfolio of products and Purdicom's enhanced support, the company is expecting to double its business within eighteen months. The acquisition also promises to simplify manufacturers' channel interactions – as they will only need to deal with one master distributor (source: PCR United Kingdom and Comms Business United Kingdom).

Cognosec enters exclusive agreement to acquire Intact Software Distribution

Swedish cybersecurity editor Cognosec has signed an exclusive agreement with South African software specialist Intact Software Distribution. The acquisition is in line with Cognosec's strategy to expand business areas to cover the sale and distribution of software technologies over the internet. The transaction will include the acquisition of 100% of outstanding shares for a consideration of approximately €255,0001 comprised of €51,000 cash and €204,000 Cognosec AB new issue shares. The transaction will be completed by Cognosec AB subsidiary, Credence Security. There will be no other impact on Cognosec AB's balance sheet. Intact Software Distribution is a specialist Digital Software Distribution Business, distributing cyber security solutions by portal and established by pioneers of digital software distribution. The Company provides a focused approach to support and technical knowledge transfer in association with the distribution channel. Where required, the Company can provide assistance with implementation of the products. Intact Security is specifically focused on customer satisfaction, providing and all-round peace of mind scenario which results in collaborative engagements facilitating each client's needs and requirements.

Intact Software Distribution complements the recent acquisition of A-Tek Distribution (in South Africa and the United Kingdom) by Cognosec and is positioned as a New Age Distribution Business, enabling global access to the vast Enterprise & SME markets with Pay-as-you-Use and Software-as-a-Service cyber security solutions. The technology platform provides significant scalability and global advantages through innovative distribution methodologies.

The acquisition of Intact Software Distribution improves Cognosec's competitive advantage for both vendors and customers alike. This addition also expands Credence Security's current product portfolio to incorporate cyber security solutions for secure operation centers, network operation centers, datacenters, mobile platforms, virtualized environments as well as providing critical fraud prevention solutions into the technology, media, telecommunications, financial and public sectors.

Commenting on the acquisition of the business by Cognosec, Simon Campbell-Young, Intact Software Distribution's Co-founder & CEO, says: "this will provide Intact Software Distribution the opportunity to scale on many different levels, both in terms of addressing enterprises' critical requirements for cyber defenses and, through adding established geographical presences through the Cognosec and Credence Security networks."

Patrick Boylan, Group MD of Cognosec, commented: "the acquisition of Intact Software Distribution provides Cognosec with further unique selling propositions and strengthens our core positioning versus the competition in this exciting and dynamic environment. This is a perfect combination and natural fit which will create tremendous growth, synergy along with enhanced streams of profitability."

Acquisitions and partnerships for Blue Label, Intact Software Distribution and Redington

Africa: with Blue Label Telecoms group (which owns dematerialized product distributor Blue Label Distribution) looking to seal the €380m Cell C recapitalisation deal imminently, the company is also looking to snap up telephony specialist 3G Mobile for €133m1. The shares in 3G Mobile ought to be acquired in two stages. It explains the initial acquisition by Blue Label's subsidiary, The Prepaid Company, will be 47.37% of the issued share capital of 3G for a purchase consideration of €63m. The acquisition of the remaining 52.63% of the issued share capital of 3G Mobile will be for a purchase consideration of €70m. It believes the transaction will be completed in September. 3G Mobile operates in eight African countries, with offices in Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa, and distribution channels into Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has distribution rights for all major tier one and tier two mobile device and handset manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, HiSense, ZTE and Nokia.

Security specialist Intact Software Distribution has won the distribution rights to Group-IB, a high-grade threat intelligence and anti-fraud solutions provider2. "The company's experience and threat intelligence is unprecedented, and has been fused into an eco-system of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions to monitor, identify and prevent cyber threats", says Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Intact Software Distribution. According to him, Group-IB is a perfect addition to the Intact stable, and Intact aims to offer a complete security solutions to clients. He says Group-IB is the unquestioned leader in advanced threat protection, and will benefit Intact's clients enormously. Intact, in turn, is well placed to help grow the Group-IB brand in South Africa and the rest of the continent, he continues. Group-IB has four flagship solutions that Intact will be offering its customers: Threat Intelligence, Threat Detection System (TDS), Secure Bank and Secure Portal.

Russian security editor Kaspersky Lab joined hands with broadliner Redington to distribute its wide portfolio of corporate security solutions across East Africa. The distributor will focus on expanding the market for Kaspersky's remote security monitoring, managed security, virtualisation security to mobile device security and management solutions in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (source: IT Web South Africa 1 and 2, ChannelPost MEA).

IRIS-MEGA to acquire Videotop Skupina

Adriatics: Serbian gaming specialist IRIS-MEGA has entered into an exclusive and binding agreement to acquire its Slovenian counterpart, Videotop Skupina, for an undisclosed amount. The addition of Videotop Skupina to IRIS-MEGA's portfolio, follows from their recent acquisition of PC CENTAR, an IT & Mobile distributor, during the Summer of 2016. Miodrag Stakić, CEO of IRIS-MEGA, said: "This acquisition not only highlights our aspirations in the region, but demonstrates our commitment to represent leading and founding vendors of this exciting and evolving industry. The combined company will become the leading Video Games Distributor of the whole Adria region."

"The synergy between the two companies is what is most exciting. IRIS-MEGA and Videotop Skupina complement each other and we are looking forward to an exciting new chapter in the history of these two veteran distributors", declared Nebojša Janković, Director of Videotop Skupina.

SYNNEX to acquire large chunks of Westcon-Comstor

American distributor SYNNEX Corporation and South African group Datatec have unveiled a definitive agreement in which SYNNEX will acquire Datatec's Westcon-Comstor Americas business and become a minority shareholder in Datatec's Westcon EMEA and APAC businesses. "We believe this is a unique opportunity that is transformational to SYNNEX and is aligned to our strategy of positioning the business to where technology is growing. Westcon-Comstor is a recognized leader in the security, UCC and networking space", stated Kevin Murai, President and CEO of SYNNEX Corp. "The Westcon-Comstor brand has been built over time by a very deep and talented team and we are excited to welcome the Americas team to our family."

Jens Montanana, CEO of Datatec, stated: "I'm proud of our team and the business they have built over the past thirty years. The SYNNEX culture is similar to Westcon-Comstor and I'm excited about the opportunity to grow our businesses together on a global scale. We share a common vision and strategic objective in addressing the global complexities and emerging demands facing our partners."

Here are the transaction details and the impact of the acquisition to Consolidated SYNNEX Corporation Financials:

  • €460M in stock and €90M in cash at closing
  • Up to €185M earn out if certain financial targets are achieved through Feb 2018 – which will allow Datatec to own about 10% of SYNNEX
  • €27.7M for 10% ownership of Datatec's Westcon EMEA and APAC businesses (with an option to double that ownership, although no details have been unveiled on how and when). Synnex also gets first refusal on making an offer to acquire it in its entirety if Datatec ever looks to sell the remainder of the business in the future, out of which Datatec wishes to get better value in the future, once the (difficult as usually) SAP implementation in the region is achieved.
  • Approximately €106 million of net debt will be assumed and refinanced with the close of the transaction
  • Option to pay all cash, based on the average share price at closing
  • If stock is issued, the SNX Board of Directors will appoint Jens Montanana to the SYNNEX Board of Directors, subject to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

"We are pleased to welcome a long-term shareholder like Datatec Ltd. The ownership structure serves us well as it aligns our collective long-term goals", stated Kevin Murai, President and CEO of SYNNEX Corp. "The composition of this transformative acquisition enables SYNNEX to further invest in long-term strategies to grow and diversify our business. Mr. Montanana brings to our board deep practical knowledge in doing business beyond North America."

For its fiscal year end ended February 28, 2017, the Westcon Americas business generated approximately €2B of revenue and approximately €82m in EBITDA. In the first 12 months after close, the Westcon Americas business, excluding integration costs, transaction expenses and intangible amortization, is expected to be mildly accretive to SYNNEX Non-GAAP EPS and then accelerate in year two. The transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and customary closing conditions. Until the transaction is completed, the companies will continue to operate independently.

News from Anders+Kern, e92plus and Terra

British Isles: RedstoneConnect, a provider of technology and services for smart buildings and commercial spaces, has successfully acquired the entire issued share capital of Easter Road Holdings Limited and its subsidiary, British AV specialist Anders+Kern. The acquisition will broaden RedstoneConnect's blue-chip customer base with existing A+K clients including British Library, MacMillan, ONS, Tullow Oil and BBC Worldwide.

Security VAD e92plus and Trustwave, a cybersecurity and managed security services provider, have unveiled a distribution partnership for both Ireland and the United Kingdom. The partnership will play a key role in expanding Trustwave's channel community and managed security services in the region.

Finally, broadliner and PC vendor Wortmann-Terra Computer has announced the arrival of two new members of its team: senior business development manager Alicia Shepherd and business development manager Colin Morris. Neil Jensen, director, Terra Computer, said: "we are delighted that we could recruit these two highly experienced individuals to our Team and together with them bring Terra to the next level in the UK! Exciting times ahead!" When asked about her new role, Alicia Shepherd said the following: "I am thrilled to be joining the team at TERRA and am looking forward to working with the Reseller Community and building on the success that the UK sales team have already had. The Channel only approach and commitment to quality sets TERRA apart from other brands, in a competitive landscape where volume is King it is a refreshing choice to know for TERRA it is support and quality that speaks volumes." Shepherd joins from Entatech where she was the firm's sales director before the company shut down. Morris, who also joins from Entatech where he was a sales account manager, had the following to say: "I am excited by the new challenge the role at Terra brings. They have a great product set with some excellent service offerings that will allow the Reseller community to grow their own individual businesses." (source: inAVate United Kingdom and PCR United Kingdom).

More business for Esprinet, Globomatik and Ingram Micro

Spain: broadliner Esprinet has inked a distribution deal with Infocus, focusing among other on its collaboration products1. The distributor has also created a division specialized in smart home2. This division will push products from numerous vendors, among which Alcatel, Beewi, BQ, Leotec, Medisana, Momit, Philips Lighting, PolarPro, Samsung and Wattio. PC component and peripheral specialist Globomatik has introduced POS packs built around ORCA Business Software. Alberto Pascual, who was manager of the Advanced Solutions division of broadliner Ingram Micro, has also taken over the Specialty Solutions division of the distributor (which covers the DC/POS, physical security, AV Pro, UCC, IoT, Professional Services and Training markets)3. As the same time, VAD Towers IT has become the Virtualization BU of the Value division of the broadliner (source: ChannelBiz España, ChannelPartner España 1, 2 and 3, DealerMarket España).

A new owner for PCA France

France: We Connect holding, which owns distributors MGF and D2 Diffusion, has acquired for an undisclosed amount PC component specialist PCA France, which owns the Heden brand (small peripherals and IP cameras), as well as its sister company Halterrego, a vendor of accessories and small peripherals.

Evernex acquires two new companies

French broker Evernex has acquired TTS France, a French expert in magnetic and optical backup solutions, and CAT Sistemas, a Spanish company specializes in IT infrastructure. With these strategic acquisitions, Evernex is completing its portfolio of services and strengthening its position as a leader in France and Europe's Latin countries.

With more than 35 years of experience, TTS France is the recognized leader in the repair of tape drives and backup libraries in laboratories. With this acquisition, Evernex will be able to supplement its range of services with very specific know-how. "We consider high-end data storage equipment repairs to be 'ultra-technical' work and requests associated with this niche skill-set require test platforms with outstanding capabilities. Today, very few businesses are able to provide this level of proficiency. Thanks to the acquisition of TTS France, Evernex will be able to have access to most libraries and tape drives, using all backup software on the market. This, shall be available for all of our customers, throughout the world", pointed out Bruno Demolin, Evernex’s chairman. "The arrival of Evernex will allow us to benefit from the resources we need to further specialize in this niche market for repairing tape drives and backup libraries. Between the complementarity of our skill-set and Evernex’s international exposure, we have everything to gain", explains Thanong Sengsavang, Managing Director of TTS France. This merger strengthens the acquisition of Nexeya Services in October 2016, which specialises in the storage of data and backups on the French market.

Evernex's other strategic acquisition involved the integration of CAT Sistemas, a Spanish company specialised in the maintenance and distribution of reconditioned multivendor IT hardware. This Catalan has an excellent reputation in the local market. Since 16 June, the date of its acquisition, CAT Sistemas and its 10 staff members have made their know-how available to Evernex Spain. "We have been established in Spain for 10 years, assisting our major international accounts and serving our local customers from Madrid. Our ambition is to become the leading provider of critical IT infrastructure maintenance services in Spain within 3 years. By acquiring CAT Sistemas, we are strengthening our presence in the Iberian market with a Catalan foothold and benefit from a sales team and a customer base that will enable us to boost our sales in the Spanish market and ultimately help us to strengthen our sales in Latin America", says Bruno Demolin. "This acquisition is a tremendous opportunity for CAT Sistemas: we were looking to supplement our range of services for over a year. This is also excellent news for our customers who will be offered additional services", states Daniel Suarez, Managing Director of CAT Sistemas.

Last May, Evernex also opened a subsidiary in Chile. This new office reinforces Evernex's presence in South America and, more particularly, in Spanish-speaking countries. With this strategic position, the Group intends to reach Argentina, Peru, Colombia and even Ecuador to develop its activities there.

A new owner for ActionIT, more vendors for ALSO, Arrow ECS, Brodos and Wentronic and investments for Ebertlang

DACH: German bankrupt PC component specialist ActionIT has been acquired by Swiss security, storage and video specialist Littlebit for an undisclosed amount. The management of ActionIT (Jochen Bless and Gernot Sonnek, Mark Scherer not being mentionned by Littlebit in its press release) keep the realms of the company. Littlebit keeps also all 27 remaining employees and the vendors of the distributor, and will merge its logistics with those of it German subsidiary.

Broadliner ALSO has added Storagecraft data security solutions to its portfolio in Germany, and Samsung smartphones to its telephony offer in Switzerland. Infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS has been appointed official distributor by virtualization editor Veeam in Germany. German telephony specialist Brodos has started the distribution of STK smartphones in the country. On Medpi, accessory and cabling specialist Wentronic has unveiled the distribution of Goobay and Cabstone (accessories and connectivity products).

Finally, software specialist Ebertlang has received equity funds from private equity house Beyond Capital Partners. The distribution plans to use these funds, whose details have not been disclosed, to fuel geographic expansion and M&A activity outside of the DACH region. Co-CEOs Steffen Ebert and Volker Lang will remain shareholders in the company. "With the support of our new shareholder we want to bring the success story of our company to the next level. We will enter new market segments with a broader range of solutions for German-speaking retailers… We also plan to expand our geographic reach", said Steffen Ebert, co-CEO of Ebertlang (source: ChannelPartner Deutschland, IT Business Deutschland, Telecom Handel Deutschland, IT Reseller Schweiz).

News from Distology, Progress Distribution, Sahara Presentations and Scansource Imago

United Kingdom: Edinburgh-based cybersecurity outfit ZoneFox has teamed up with network and security VAD Distology in a bid to grow its UK channel. It wants to appoint 15 partners by the end of the year, from 8 now (boutique security specialists, ranging from between 15 and 100 employees). Distology gives ZoneFox a distributor that can package its solution alongside its other vendors, like Osirium, Portnox or Okta.

Security VAD Progress Distribution is planning to launch an emerging technology incubator in London, once it has completed an investment deal of between €2.5m and €3m with a secret investor worth around €160 million. Once the cheque clears, the company will buy a 900 sqm building in London to house emerging tech vendors as they enter the UK, with the rest of the investment being used to fund two acquisitions.

Sahara Presentations Group has expanded its digital signage portfolio with the acquisition of Sedao, a digital signage vendor. As part of the acquisition, Sedao's founder, David Oades will join the Sahara Group as head of product development. Sedao will now form part of the Sahara Presentations Group PLC alongside AV distributor Sahara AV Distribution and Clevertouch Interactive Technologies.

Finally, telecom VAD ScanSource Imago has expanded locally its partnership with VC vendor Vaddio, previously limited to ScanSource Imago France (source: Channel Eye United Kingdom 1 and 2, inAVate United Kingdom).

EET Europarts acquires DED

United Kingdom: in what is its fifth acquisition this year and the second in this field in a few weeks after Heimdal in France, Danish multispecialist EET Europarts has taken over British POS specialist DED for an undisclosed amount. "With the acquisition of DED we are now entering into the league of the leading Pan-European distributors within the POS & Auto ID area", says Group CEO John Thomas, EET Group. "Our ambition to become one of the leading POS & Auto ID distributors in the European market before 2020 seems within reach."

With the acquisition, EET Europarts will take over a team of 22 dedicated and experienced employees from DED.

"From our acquisitions in recent years, we have the experience and know-how to carry out integration of different organizations and human teams effectively and successfully. Now 22 employees from DED will become our new colleagues, and they will be integrated into our UK-based entity, EET Europarts Ltd, headed by Managing Director Simon Smith. With this integration it is our clear target to provide our customers with an even better product portfolio, and a stronger organization to support the customers in whatever needs they may have", adds the Group CEO.

"DED has an excellent reputation in the POS & Auto-ID Card business with important main vendors and brands like i.a. Star Micronics, Evolis and Spacepole", says Simon Smith, Managing Director at EET Europarts in UK. "Furthermore, DED is well-known for its very strong sales and technical support team, providing customers the specialist knowledge and support needed, in order to supply them with the correct solution. The acquisition of DED will strengthen the basic offer for our existing customers, as well as for our new DED customers, being able to benefit from the advantages of EET Europarts' e-trade platform, our state-of-the-art logistics set-up, and all of our interesting business areas providing new business opportunities to their customers.".

Exclusive Group acquires US VAD Fine Tec

United States: French network and security VAD Exclusive Group has advanced its global distribution partner offering with the acquisition of leading Silicon Valley-headquartered cybersecurity VAD Fine Tec, a local Fortinet distributor. The move places Exclusive Group at the heart of the world's largest cybersecurity market; complementing its existing global presence throughout the EMEA and APAC regions. Global systems integrators, service providers and vendors, as well as large North American reseller partners, will be the chief beneficiaries as Exclusive Group extends its unique, highly successful 'Disruptive Distribution' blueprint with an established local player that already shares similar DNA and value-adding culture.

"This will be a major step forward for our global proposition as we harness US-based skills, resources and relationships to support the execution of worldwide deals with large systems integrator partners and to advance our unique formula into the domestic market", said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. "Fine Tec is as an operationally excellent business with a strong services capability and successful reputation for delivering value in a highly competitive environment. It represents a great opportunity to integrate a culturally-aligned business into our global family, and we look forward to working with Fine Tec CEO James Shen and his team to build on their success and accelerate growth throughout the region."

"This is great news for everyone connected with Fine Tec family as it validates the approach we've taken to value-added distribution in the US for nearly 20 years", said James Shen, Fine Tec President & CEO. "The Exclusive Group story is well known and we’ve admired it from afar, but now with the Group's global reach and resources it opens up many new opportunities for our partners. It really is an exciting time as there is true opportunity to extend the disruptive distribution model to the US, whilst the ambition for us to grow internationally is finally realised."

The move follows Exclusive Group's recent appointment of Patrick Huth as VP Alliances Americas, who will be instrumental in enabling new partner and vendor opportunities alongside Fine Tec's existing leadership team. The successful integration of the Fine Tec business is set to increase Exclusive Group's forecast revenues for the full year 2017 to 1.8bn€ ($2bn).