In a dramatic role reversal, acquisition-hungry VAR group Matrix Communications has itself become an acquisition target, with an Irish firm believed to be in the frame.
As revealed by CRN online last week, an unsolicited offer has been made for the group’s integrator businesses from an “international trade buyer with minimal UK presence” and talks are at an “advanced stage”, the firm said in a statement.
CRN understands that an Irish company has made the offer, placing acquisitive Horizon Technology Group, distributor DCC or a venture capitalist consortium in the running as potential purchasers. However, Phillip Maguire, a representative at Horizon, denied the speculation.
“We have no involvement with Matrix at this time,” he said. “It [the potential purchaser] is not us.”
Horizon acquired Matrix’s distribution arm equIP earlier this year (CRN, 6 February). Matrix said funds from the sale would assist its transformation into a virtual network operator (VNO).
Last week, CRN exclusively revealed the formation of Matrix’s Virtual Indirect Network Operator (ViNO) division which will provide managed services to Matrix’s partner base.
Bernie Dodwell, European security manager at distributor Westcon, said: “It seems like Matrix wants to raise cash for other areas of its business. It is surprising to sell its core business. Now it will be able to pour money into developing its ViNO division.”
Following Matrix’s annual general meeting, Alan Watkins, Matrix chairman, said: “In the past few weeks Matrix has received an unsolicited offer to acquire its integration businesses. These businesses, which exclude the Fujin mobile content filtering business, are the main sources of revenue and profit for the Matrix Communications Group.”
Watkins added that Matrix has entered into a period of discussions with the potential buyer because of the “industrial logic” of the deal and the financial benefits to Matrix’s shareholders.
Watkins also warned that the firm expects its Fujin division, to post financial results below expectations for the year to October 2006.
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