Avnet Goes Shopping in Europe

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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The distribution giant expects to extend its vendor portfolio in the U.S.

Avnet will look to use its European shopping spree to extend its vendor portfolio in the U.S. market.

The distribution giant recently ploughed more cash into its European acquisition strategy with its third major purchase in the region in just over a year. Dick Borsboom, president of Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA, said buying the IT Solutions division of U.K.-based distributor Acal will give the company a better foothold in the storage networking and enterprise content management sectors.

"With [this acquisition] we are strengthening the cross-manufacturer solutions competence … with a view to the future markets of storage networking and enterprise content management," he said. "We also have the potential to geographically expand supplier relationships that are specifically doing business with Acal in Europe in other regions."

Acal has relationships with more than 50 vendors, including Brocade, Emulex, Motorola, Juniper and Cisco for its MDS switching range. Avnet has already stated publicly that it is keen to develop a relationship with Cisco.

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Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at U.K.-based Canalys, said the move was centered around Avnet making a serious play in the storage networking sector.

"This will take Avnet into a new domain in its vendor portfolio. The role of the network going forward, especially considering the role of unified communications, is changing, and Avnet has obviously seen a massive opportunity here," he said. "Juniper and Cisco will be the two critical relationships for Avnet here and from a global point of view in terms of the opportunity and diversification."

Borsboom also said it is unlikely to be the end of the Avnet's acquisition strategy.

"The channel is more and more on a consolidation course; partnerships, mergers and acquisitions are the order of the day. Thanks to the massive increase in its stock market value, Avnet Technology Solutions is in the comfortable situation of being able to invest in acquisitions," he said.

Avnet is also is still waiting for EU and shareholder clearance for its previous acquisition of the Infrastructure division of Germany-based distributor Magirus, announced in July.

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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