Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Ingram Micro signed a $96 million deal to acquire part of DBL Distributing Inc., a U.S. consumer electronics distributor.

The IT technology distribution giant said the acquisition marked another step forward in its consumer electronics strategy and another sign the space between consumer and commercial technologies is thinning.

“This strategy positions Ingram Micro at the forefront of two significant trends: the continuing convergence of commercial and consumer technologies and the growing importance of retailers in the marketplace,” said CEO Greg Spierkel in a statement. “The transaction is an example of how we plan to deploy capital in the future–through strategic acquisitions that spur growth, enhance profitability and expand our addressable market.”

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based DBL has 350 employees and offers more than 17,000 consumer electronics products to thousands of independent retailers across the United States, according to Ingram Micro. The company reported 2006 sales of nearly $300 million, following four years of double-digit sales growth, with gross and operating margins double those of Ingram Micro’s core distribution business.

“While our purchase of AVAD two years ago made us leaders in the custom installation market, the acquisition of DBL makes us leaders in the independent retail market,” said Keith Bradley, president of Ingram Micro North America, in a statement.

“…We plan to leverage this opportunity by cross-selling our current selection of information technology products to DBL’s customers as well as offer our customers access to DBL’s extensive CE accessory products,” he added.

DBL will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro, keeping the same brand name, business model and management structure to simplify the transition for customers and vendor partners of both companies.

Ingram Micro plans to pay for the transaction through an existing financing facility.

The distributor said the transaction is expected to add about 3 cents to earnings per share in 2008 and 6 cents to earnings per share in 2009.