US systems integrator and distributor MicroAge Integration has finally entered the European market via the UK, with the acquisition of IBM reseller Bell & Watson (B&W).
MicroAge has bought a controlling majority interest in B&W, although terms of the deal were not disclosed. B&W will be renamed MicroAge UK and will focus on providing integration services to the corporate sector.
B&W managing director John Allen will continue in the senior role in the new company.
Mauro Marcucci, vice president and managing director of MicroAge Europe, said the impetus for the acquisition was that B&W and MicroAge had two accounts in common - Visa and Manpower.
Bell & Watson has established its reputation over 11 years as an IBM-only reseller, mainly serving the SME sector. It is an IBM systems centre, business partner and solution centre.
But Marcucci pointed out that B&W had recently become an approved partner for Compaq and Hewlett Packard. 'To survive in today's environment you need to be more multi-vendor. MicroAge UK will change in this respect,' he said.
MicroAge set up a European division 18 months ago, to support the US operation and partners rather than establish a direct corporate presence on the Continent. According to Marcucci, MicroAge UK will become the hub for MicroAge's European region. He insisted there will be no redundancies in the wake of the acquisition.
Following the B&W acquisition in the UK, Marcucci said MicroAge would turn its attention to potential buys in Europe.
'We are looking at further additions in Germany and France as we need to strengthen our position in the three major markets in Europe,' he said.
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