UPDATE: 23 FEBRUARY 2006
Telecoms reseller Chess will continue its aggressive acquisition trail with another purchase next week and more in the pipeline.
David Pollock, chief executive at Chess exclusively told CRN: "We will continue to grow through acquisitions and organically, and our objective is six more acquisitions this year, with one next week."
Pollock said the acquisitions would be telecoms resellers and data integrators to add to the 12 acquisitions already made by the VAR in the last two years.
"There is a lot of consolidation in the market, we are getting better at acquisitions and are financial stable," added Pollock.
Peter Rowell, chairman at mergers and acquisitions specialists Regent Associates, said: "If you have built success with acquisitions then carry on. Chess don't make big acquisitions, but have a good strategy to acquire bolt-ons. "
Rowell said the telecoms market is ripe for consolidation as convergence continues to gather pace.
PREVIOUS: 19 DECEMBER 2005
Communications reseller Chess has completed its 12th acquisition in 19 months after snapping up Voice over IP (VoIP) VAR Sentiro, as predicted by CRN last week (CRN, 12 December).
The acquisition-hungry VAR has also confirmed more purchases are in the pipeline as it targets future growth in the expanding VoIP arena.
Sentiro is a Twickenham-based VAR that will provide a pure VoIP focus for Chess, which also plans to utilise Sentiro’s customer base to ship its own portfolio. Richard Btesh, director of corporate finance at Chess, said: “Sentiro has a very good customer base and this is not only an acquisition, but also an opportunity to take advantage of cross-selling other products.”
Btesh outlined Chess’s plans to concentrate on VoIP through further acquisitions and stated that Sentiro will operate as a pure VoIP arm.
“This is not just a diversification move as we are now focused on VoIP. We believe that VoIP is the future
and we are trying to be up there along with the major players,” Btesh said.
“We will be announcing our own VoIP proposition in February next year and watch this space, there could be another acquisition in a couple of weeks,” he added.
Btesh classed Sentiro as a “brave reseller that saw the future in VoIP”, with the move driven by customer dem-and to learn about internet telephony.
Jess Thompson-Hughes, managing director at VoIP distributor React Technologies, said: “Chess must have an investor behind them who will be expecting a return.
“They are buying existing companies who are not doing so well, but have a strong customer base.”
Thompson-Hughes said that by purchasing a VoIP reseller it enables Chess to acquire a customer base that needs continued managed services, a move indicative of the current telecoms market.
“It is part of smaller firms’ battle plan to be swallowed by larger firms. The small VAR goes out, gets subscriptions and hopes to be acquired,” added Thompson-Hughes.
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