BT Northern Ireland has paid £17m in cash for reseller BIC Systems Group, which has offices in both Belfast and Dublin. The move may be a prelude to the telecoms giant snapping up other large resellers in the UK.
Phil Codling, a senior analyst at Ovum Holway, said: "BT has a shrinking core business. But its IT and networking large-scale contracts business has done very well in the past few years.
"What used to be Syntegra and the outsourcing part of BT Global Solutions has grown at market-beating rates for the past couple of years. BT has seen that it's worth investing in."
Codling said he was not suggesting BT is about to buy a large system integrator. It may instead look to add to its ability to offer large-scale network services, he claimed. One way of doing this is to acquire IT resellers.
John Carter, managing director of BTIC distributor DMSL, said: "I don't know whether BT will make any similar acquisitions in the UK, because it works with companies such as Capita and Computacenter already."
Following the deal, which is awaiting regulatory approval, BIC will retain its identity. No job losses are planned, according to a statement from BIC. Neither firm was available for comment.
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