Guardian IT has secured a rival in the European business continuity arena by snapping up Safetynet Group for £170m.
The acquisition of Safetynet, which provides disaster recovery services for IBM mid-range computers, as well as workplace and dealing room recovery facilities, follows the acquisition of Catalyst Solutions's disaster recovery operation earlier this month.
Safetynet posted operating profits of £3.4m on turnover of £21.9m for the year ended 31 March 2000.
Guardian IT said the acquisition will allow it to strengthen its position in the European disaster recovery market, expand its workplace facilities in the UK and France, and expand into Luxembourg and Japan. It is currently the third largest business continuity service provider in Europe.
Layoffs and office closures will inevitably follow as the integrated group moves to cut costs by £2.5m in the first year.
But Stephen Bean, group marketing director at Guardian IT, said there will not be large-scale redundancies as the group is opening new businesses which will be in need of staff. He said office closures were more likely. "We will lose some people because there are a number of positions duplicated in the disaster recovery area, but we are planning a number of new businesses, so the picture is not that bleak," he said.
Peter MacLean, chief executive at Guardian IT, said: "The combination of Guardian and Safetynet will create a powerful organisation, well-positioned and capable of meeting the business continuity and disaster recovery needs of the expanding European marketplace."
"We intend to capitalise on the combined skills and combined product offering to drive significant growth in the group through our business continuity, web hosting, data management and Sans," he added.
Paul Barry-Walsh, managing director at Safetynet, who will assume responsibility for the development of Guardian IT's San business, said he was delighted with the acquisition which will create "a leading global player".
First published in Computer Reseller News
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