Systems integrator Damovo is believed to have made a bid to acquire recently launched networking integrator Omnetica.
Omnetica broke away from its Siemens parent in October to become one of the top six pan-European system integrators (CRN, 21 October). It was formed through the union of UK-based Siemens Network Systems, Arche in France and Pres in Italy.
However, industry observers believe venture capitalist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which bought the three European Siemens companies to form Omnetica, is reluctant to invest further in the company. Instead, speculation is rising that, for the right price, KKR will sell the company.
"From what has been said in the channel, if Apax [Damovo's owner] has not already put a bid in for Omnetica, it will in the near future," one source told CRN.
A Damovo representative would not comment on the speculation but said the firm is always looking for good acquisitions.
Although Peter Halls, chief executive of Omnetica, denied the two firms were in talks at present, other channel executives said such an acquisition would be an obvious move.
Mark Darvill, director of business development at system integrator Logical UK, said Omnetica skills would help Damovo to grow its Cisco business. "If Damovo is looking for strategic acquisitions, Omnetica is an obvious choice," he said.
Darvill also pointed out that KKR could have bought the various Siemens subsidiaries with the intention of combining them before rebranding and selling. "It's possible that Omnetica was packaged for sale because it is not a big player and KKR would need deep pockets to build it up," he said.
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at Norwood Adam, said the move would boost Damovo's UK business. "In the UK Damovo has been struggling, and buying Omnetica would give it a customer base that it can use to bolster sales," he said.
KKR was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
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