Buy-and-build outfit Corero plans to snap up more small security vendors that have failed to "break through the glass ceiling" as it begins courting the UK channel.
Four channel stalwarts, including Datatec founder Jens Montanana, took a majority stake in AIM-listed Corero last August and this month tabled a $15.3m (£9.54m) bid for intrusion prevention vendor Top Layer.
The other three investors are former Logicalis chief operating officer Andrew Miller and ex-Fortinet executives Andre Stewart and Stephen Turner.
Miller said Corero will use Top Layer as a platform to construct a channel-focused network security vendor with a global presence.
It will also continue to develop Corero's traditional software business, which focuses on the UK education market and has a turnover of about £3m.
Corero will still have $10m in cash to play with after the Top Layer acquisition closes on 2 March, but plans to use its own shares in future deals. Miller highlighted next-generation firewalls as a market it would expand into through acquisition.
"A number of small firms have not been able to break through the glass ceiling of $10m to 15m revenues," he said.
"We will make further acquisitions. The areas we are looking at are secure web and email gateways and virtual private networks."
Top Layer draws 70 per cent of sales from the US.
"The UK and Europe - that is where we see the opportunity," said Miller.
"We will be talking to channel partners and are targeting small
specialist distributors and resellers such as VADition."
Barrie Desmond, business development director of VADition, confirmed the duo were in dialogue.
"It could almost provide a triage service for us," he said. "Instead of having 20 meetings with vendors we would only have to have two."
Bruce Hockin, head of business strategy at Barracuda distributor Avnet, said: "It's always interesting to see new players enter the market and I'm sure the channel will be keen to see how the new organisation will integrate Top Layer's skills and technology. Avnet have witnessed strong growth in the IPS market in recent months with Sourcefire, and this technology area continues to be a great market for the channel in invest in and grow with."
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