UK-headquartered video comms distributor Imago Group is on the verge of being acquired by US imaging VAD ScanSource for an estimated £24m to £25m.
Imago, which enjoys annual revenue of £54m a year across the UK, France and Germany, is expected to be rebranded as Imago ScanSource and continue with little rationalisation as there is not much overlap between the pair, according to Imago Group founder and managing director Ian Vickerage (pictured).
"There were other suitors, both trade and private equity, but these guys are a good match," he said. "We wouldn't sit well within a broadliner such as Tech Data or Ingram; that would be a massive culture shock."
Mike Baur, chief executive of ScanSource, said the proposed acquisition of Imago represents the next step in ScanSource's aim of becoming the leading video, voice and data VAD for resellers in Europe.
"Ian Vickerage, Imago founder and managing director, has grown his business into the best VAD of video and voice solutions in Europe. He has agreed in the letter of intent to remain as managing director of the company, leading the talented management team he has built at Imago."
Vickerage said the merger would probably mean more work for him in the short term rather than less, but is a great opportunity to gain unrivalled global reach as well as continue Imago's European expansion and organic growth.
"So it is completely the opposite of rationalisation," he said. "And they are by far the biggest people for Polycom videoconferencing in the US."
Imago has been Europe's biggest Polycom distributor and recently acquired Vitec in Germany, which it is still bedding down. Meanwhile, ScanSource has made an acquisition in Latin America, Vickerage said.
"Big is beautiful, or sometimes it is. And we're incredibly beautiful," he joked. "And I've personally known Mike [Baur], off and on, for about six years – and they've approached us before."
The companies also share a belief in value-added distribution as a strategy that makes the firms a good match, Vickerage said.
"This acquisition will give our resellers privileged access to the Imago/ScanSource support network in Europe, USA and Latin America, enabling them to compete far more effectively for large local deals," he said.
Vickerage will report to Mike Ferney, ScanSource president of worldwide communications and services, who is currently responsible for the VAD's two comms business units, operating in the UK, France, Germany and Belgium.
Completion would add Imago's 120 staff to ScanSource, making the total nearly 400 in 15 European offices. Imago was founded in 1991.
The letter of intent to acquire is non-binding, with the proposed acquisition subject to the negotiation and execution of a definitive purchase agreement as well as regulatory approval.
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