VAR AT Communications (ATC) plans to continue its acquisition strategy and could snap up another northern-based firm by the end of the year.
Last week, ATC acquired voice and data VAR Britannia Telecom for £3.84m, as revealed by CRN online.
ATC also bought virtual network operator T-Liaison earlier this year (CRN, 18 January), and acquired voice and data reseller Sterry Group last year (CRN, 14 November).
Alex Tupman, chief executive of ATC, told CRN: “We are always looking for acquisitions that can add to our resources. I would be surprised if we don’t make another acquisition by the end of the year.
“We will look for geographical expansion in the north, and possibly Scotland. We now have a rounded portfolio and our own network. We want to move into data and mobility.”
Tupman added that Britannia is a profitable business with a strong team and customers in the small enterprise space.
“Britannia will rebrand as ATC,” he said. “We will cross-sell into its customer base. It also has great alternative manufacturer relationships.”
Tupman said ATC has vendor relationships with Avaya, Mitel, Cisco, 3Com and Hewlett-Packard, while Britannia works with Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba.
“We floated [on the stock exchange] last year and have used our listing in the right way,” he said. “We have been able to develop our relationship with Barclays Bank so they are offering us additional support.”
Barclays supplied a £9m acquisition facility that paid for the purchase of Britannia, Tupman added.
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at research firm EuroLAN, said: “It is a smart move to buy a lower-end business, and a great way to reach new markets.”
Humphreys added that he expected consolidation to continue in the channel. He said service provider activity, such as the SBC acquisition of AT&T, and NTL’s acquisition of Telewest will have a knock-on effect on the channel.
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