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Microsoft’s fifth largest LAR in North America, Softchoice, has forced greater consolidation in the LAR channel by acquiring Software Plus, the ninth largest Microsoft LAR.

Softchoice is hoping the acquisition, which was for $45 million, will help it move upstream into the enterprise sector, according to David MacDonald, president and CEO of Softchoice. The firm also said the purchase will help it to expand on three fronts: software and hardware, regionally throughout the U.S and Canada and further into the public sector and enterprise segments.

“Today is an important milestone in the implementation of our U.S. growth strategy as we build on our success in the small and midmarket and begin moving upstream into the enterprise space in the U.S.,” MacDonald said in a statement.

Software Plus is Softchoice’s fourth acquisition to date and its second of 2007. On Oct. 12, Softchoice completed the acquisition of the technology solutions and services divisions of NexInnovations.