Networking VAR Azzurri Communications has made its 12th acquisition in just four years as it looks to bolster its public-sector business.
The acquisitive firm last week snapped up Kingston-upon-Hull -based Chisholms Computers, a supplier of hardware and network solutions, educational internet service provider and software developer, for £5.5m.
Martin St Quinton, chief executive of Azzurri, said the acquisition is a good fit.
"Chisholms has been strong in the education and public-sector space, where we don't have a huge percentage of the market. This buy enables us to move into that area and gain market share."
St Quinton said the firm plans to develop Chisholms' proprietary education software and roll it out on a national basis.
"We also want to expand the business and take on more staff," he said.
He added that Chisholms will become part of the Azzurri group, with former managing director Gerard Toplass becoming divisional director at Azzurri.
St Quinton confirmed that the company is still on the look-out for further acquisitions. Azzurri's last buy was mobile consultancy firm Axxent, bought last year for £2.7m.
"Our plan is to acquire more businesses. We have been consolidating from the start, and in the first couple of years we were the lone voice in the consolidation world. It is definitely becoming more of a trend in the industry," he said.
Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys, said Azzurri's strategy is "interesting".
"Azzurri is carefully cherry-picking the right kind of firms, and with backing from [investment firm] 3i it certainly has experience in doing this.
"For a long time there has been the opportunity for SME convergence across IT and telephony markets, and this latest buy gives Azzurri a strong public-sector focus," he said.
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