Consolidation is one of the key themes of Top VARs 2017, which was launched online yesterday.
An M&A frenzy has gripped the channel over the last 12 months, with three of last year's top 25 resellers - Danwood, Alternative Networks and Phoenix Software - having been gobbled up by competitors.
Much of the deal-making was driven by a small handful of resellers, often backed by private equity cash. Indeed, according to M&A adviser Regent Associates, private equity accounted for 480 of the
2,688 European technology, media and telecoms deals signed in the first nine months of 2017.
Having bagged investment from private equity house Equistone in September 2016, print VAR Apogee grabbed £150m-revenue rival Danwood in March. Daisy's £165m acquisition of Alternative Networks last December also came after the comms player was taken private in 2015 by founder Matthew Riley, Toscafund and Penta Capital.
Claranet, Sabio and CSI are among the other private equity-backed players on the acquisition trail, alongside deep-pocketed privately held VARs Bell, GCI and Chess. Publicly listed outfits such as Maintel, Adept Telecom, Bytes (whose parent Altron is listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange) and IDE Group have also got in on the game.