The UK has been heralded as the most acquisition-hungry country in Europe, notching up 829 acquisitions last year, according to research from market watcher Regent Associates.
In its latest European Technology Acquisition Review, Regent reported that the last three months of 2005 marked the 11th straight quarterly increase in the number of acquisitions among European technology companies. The total for the year was up by 27 per cent on 2004 to 3,053.
IT services was the most active sector with 874 transactions in the year, up by 22 per cent on 2004, Regent said.
Peter Rowell, executive chairman at Regent, told CRN: “The UK is the most active country because we have a real trading mentality. The UK also has a healthy investment community and is seen as a bridgehead from the US to break into the rest of Europe.
“I’m not sure if acquisition activity will continue at the same level, but it won’t drop off. Consolidation is happening among systems integrators and VARs. Resellers need to build service capabilities or they will be acquired.”
Eddie Pacey, director of credit at distributor Bell Microproducts, said: “We will continue to see acquisitions across the IT industry except for the high-end enterprise space.”
Alastair Bell, managing director of Bell Microsystems, said: “Asset management services is a fast-growing area. There aren’t many companies doing what we’re doing so if another firm in this area became available we would look to acquire it.”
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