The Americans are coming. This is not a warning, they mean it. Not content with dominating their own country, US companies, particularly the huge systems integrators, are intent on dominating the UK and Europe.
If you have watched the progress of GE Capital recently then you will know that slowly but surely it is acquiring small players throughout Europe. Hardly a week goes by without GE announcing that it has bought someone. And now GE has been joined by US systems integrator Ikon, which recently bought Manchester-based Redbox. Ikon could well follow the example set by GE, as it is looking at 16 targets and will spend about $50 million and $100 million on each purchase.
Now, GE may have been thwarted by an apparent knock-back by Computacenter, but this still hasn?t dented its desire to march into Europe. Obviously GE wanted Computacenter ? after all it?s not the UK?s largest reseller by chance ? but for one reason or another, Computacenter out-priced itself according to the word on the street. OK, so GE bought Systems International recently ? an average size reseller but one which has a lot of potential now that it is part of the GE conglomerate ? but it has been lacking a volume player to boost its UK coverage. That is until now.
It appears to have hit upon this in the guise of P&P?s desktop business. There has been speculation that since P&P divided itself up into strategic business units, all with their own identities and brands, it has been looking to get rid of its desktop business. With a prospectus in the offing among rival resellers, it will only be a matter of time before GE picks up P&P. The sale will benefit both parties. The Lancashire-based reseller will be left to concentrate on training and services ? the value-added side of the business ie: where the money is ?- while GE gains the clout it needs to upset the balance of power in the UK reseller market.
The purchase of P&P will give GE the necessary weight to be viewed as a serious player in the UK. It?s not hot air anymore, GE is coming and it?s coming in a big way.
So, watch out the rest of you in the reseller top 10 list ? you either sell up to GE or get a bigger bank balance than the US company.
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