Logcom Group has acquired Autodata as part of an acquisition spree aimed at putting the UK reseller at the forefront of a consolidated marketplace.
The deal is one of four that the reseller for small to medium-sized enterprises hopes to complete by the end of the year in order to capitalise on a market that analysts say is ripe for consolidation.
With many resellerers folding, Logcom hopes to take its pick of struggling resellers and boost its profile before floating on the stock exchange next spring or summer.
"The channel needs a clear out because small independents can't compete anymore," said Clive Longbottom, services director at analyst Quocirca.
"This is a brave move by Logcom and should push them well up the reseller ladder. The company is following a trend, but buying up multiple customer bases means it will have a big impact in the industry."
Chris Turner, director of Autodata, told vnunet.com: "Joining Logcom was a natural step in our evolution as a company. We were finding that acquiring additional good customers and good staff was a perennial challenge."
In return for merging its entire business with Logcom, Autodata hopes to reduce its financial, logistical and administrative burden while retaining and growing its existing business.
"This is not just a land-grabbing exercise," said Simon Holloway, Logcom head of investor relations.
"SME resellers have had their clients for years, which has meant large manufacturers haven't been able to get into this space."
As to whether Autodata and the other companies in Logcom's sights can be absorbed smoothly, Longbottom recalled the time it took IT giant IBM to absorb Tivoli.
In comparison, he admitted that multiple acquisition programmes can be "daring to the point of stupidity", but argued that if Logcom can capitalise on the similar cultures and sales models, it has a much better chance of making its strategy work.
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