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The distribution sector began 2008 with a bang, after both Ingram Micro and Avnet made acquisition announcements around the globe.

Ingram Micro in Europe has agreed to purchase the assets of UK-based distributor Paradigm Distribution Ltd. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will add AIDC/POS (automatic identification and data capture/point-of-sale technology) to Ingram’s European portfolio. Paradigm and its employees will be rolled into Ingram’s Data Capture/POS Division and headed up by existing managing director of Paradigm, Ralph Donohue.

Ingram has been looking to expand its POS/ AIDC division in Europe since it acquired Nordic POS distributor SymTech Nordic AS, in 2006.

Jay Forbes, president Ingram Micro EMEA, said in a statement: “This acquisition fits our global strategy of expansion and diversification in adjacent markets. Today we are a global distribution partner that specializes in data capture and POS technologies and delivers adjacent technologies to provide complete end-to-end solutions, services and support.”

Jeremy Butt, VP WW Channels, Motorola EMb, said in a statement that “we are very pleased to see Ingram Micro join forces with Paradigm Distribution as it will further support our worldwide growth plans. Our experience with Ingram Micro DC/POS Division in the European Nordic region as well as in the U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific, makes us fully confident that our reseller partners in the UK, Ireland and beyond will greatly benefit from this partnership.”

In the United States, Ingram has been in the AIDC/POS market since its acquisition of Nimax in 2004, and last year signed a deal with NCR to distribute its POS systems.

Pointer Click here to read more about Ingram’s POS strategy.

Avnet has also been on the acquisition trail in 2008 by acquiring YEL Electronics Hong Kong Ltd., an Asia Pacific-based distributor of IP&E (interconnect, passive, electromechanical) and limited semiconductor components.

Avnet said YEL will operate as a specialist division and Avnet executives said the firm intends to continue acquiring in the IP&E sector in Asia.

Harley Feldberg, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing Global, said in a statement: “The IP&E distribution industry in Asia is highly fragmented and Avnet intends to actively participate in its consolidation. With this acquisition, we have increased our IP&E business in Asia by over 50 percent and become the largest IP&E distributor in the region.”

YEL generated approximately $200 million of revenue in the 12 months ended December 2007 with over 80 percent coming from IP&E products.