Landis has acquired Data Connectivity, the profitable networking arm of the Datrontech distribution group which has gone into receivership.
The deal was confirmed on Monday by official receiver Deloitte & Touche and details were released to the Dutch stock market, where Landis is listed. Data Connectivity made a profit of £2.5m in the last trading year.
James Morgan, Data Connectivity's managing director, and the only member of staff who had not been made redundant last week, will stay on as general manager.
A further 10 ex-Data Connectivity employees, including Fiona Squires, marketing manager, and eight sales people, were being interviewed as Landis sought to maintain continuity at Data Connectivity. The company will continue to trade independently from its Basingstoke offices.
Janet Noakes, marketing manager at Landis, said: "This latest acquisition gives us 4000 staff in Europe. We are strengthening our position in networking and services. This gives our consultancy and services division an equal footing with our distribution efforts."
However, some rivals questioned the logic of the move. "They are buying the franchises and the goodwill, but supplying Lucent kit, for example, needs good support. And they are not getting any support engineers from this deal," one said.
But Morgan rejected this idea as "rubbish". "Landis has 2500 engineers across Europe we can call on. There were lots of companies fighting to buy this one, including the founders of EquIP who put in a bid at the 11th hour. So we can't be all that bad. Landis was the best deal for us," he said. "If it had been anyone else who bought us no one would have been interested."
Morgan hinted that overtures made by Neil Ledger, EquIP's founder and former managing director of Data Connectivity, had caused some unrest. "No one would have worked for EquIP and we didn't appreciate its 'non-callous offer'," he said.
Asked what he thought about moving from managing director to general manager of the firm, Morgan responded: "What does it matter? It's only a job title."
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