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Australian software specialist distributor NEXTGEN Group will be acquired by France-headquartered Exclusive Networks.

The acquisition is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2024 and is projected to more than double Exclusive Networks’ presence across APAC.

NEXTGEN was founded by channel veteran John Walters in 2011. Initially a boutique distributor to support Oracle in the Australian market, the company grew under Walters to become a software and cloud-led powerhouse, with reach across the APAC region and a particular strength in cybersecurity.

The company’s vendor base now includes AWS, IBM, Rubrik, Commvault, GitHub, Gigamon, SolarWinds, and CrowdStrike, in addition to its ongoing partnership with Oracle.

NEXTGEN’s sales in the financial year 23 were $266 million and the company now employs 190 people across the APAC region.

According to Walters, Exclusive Networks was the right partner for NEXTGEN thanks to alignment across vision and portfolio. Exclusive Networks is itself a cybersecurity specialist.

“To capture the next phase of NEXTGEN Group’s exciting growth, we had to find the right global partner that brings the appropriate investment into our model and aligns with our culture,” Walters said.

“Exclusive Networks, led by Jesper, aligns strongly with our shared ambitions and values, including a passion for innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit,” Walters said.

Exclusive Network’s new business units

In addition to the core distribution business, in acquiring NEXTGEN, Exclusive Networks will also absorb related companies that support both vendors and channel partners in the market:

  • Orbus: A technology financing service that claims to “deliver risk-free, flexible, and comprehensive technology payment solutions to vendors and channel partners to offer to end-to-end customers.”
  • Optima: NEXTGEN Group can provide advisory services that support the business growth of its partners through Optima. The company specialises in helping its clients migrate key workloads to the cloud.
  • Stratus: NEXTGEN Group’s Technical Centre of Excellence provides a space for vendors and partners to demonstrate complex cross-vendor solutions to customers in a secure and safe environment.
  • Elastic Digital: Through Elastic Digital, NEXTGEN Group can support marketing campaigns for the channel, including the development of video animation, landing pages, and social media collateral, as well as build a marketing strategy behind the content.
  • oSpace: oSpace is a sales function that provides NEXTGEN partners with specialist, data-driven insights and resources to maximise their speed to market and reach across Australia. oSpace also helps challenger brands build their first reach into the APAC market.

Acquisitions continue across Australia

M&A activity across the reseller and MSP space has already been extensive in the latter half of 2023 and into 2024. However, Australia’s stable of distributors have remained steady. The acquisition of NEXTGEN is a matter of a foreign company building its local presence through acquisition rather than organic growth.

At this stage, there’s no indication that there will be job losses or that the NEXTGEN brand will be absorbed by Exclusive in the near future.

It does highlight the ongoing trend for companies in a strong position to look to rapid growth, however, and the only way to do this is through acquisition. Earlier this year, Exclusive Networks announced an expansion of its own operations in Australia via a partnership with Mimecast.