E92plus owner Mukesh Gupta has scotched rumours he is seeking a buyer as the security distributor celebrates 25 years in business.
Talking to CRN, Gupta (pictured) said he remains committed to growing the Surrey-based VAD as an independent company a quarter of a century after its inception, despite witnessing countless peers sell up in recent years.
"We are one of the last independents left; everyone else – other than perhaps Wick Hill – is part of a larger organisation and that in itself provides us with something unique," Gupta said.
"We are still driven by the core principles we started the business with and our staff and vendors are not just a number in a large organisation."
CRN heard whispers that e92plus had appointed M&A advisory firm Regent Associates to hunt for potential buyers under the codename "Project Willow". The temptation to sell up would be understandable given recent market consolidation that has seen e92plus rivals including VADition, Cohort and Vigil submit to larger rivals' offers.
Gupta confirmed that e92plus had worked with Regent in the past but that it had opted to "move in a different direction". The distributor is now in growth mode, Gupta said, with six graduate sales staff starting in May and a further half-dozen set to begin next month.
"We wouldn't be doing this if we were looking to sell up," Gupta said.
"We always look at our options but our current position is we are going forward as independent and not looking to be acquired. We are reinvesting our profits to make e92plus a place people want to work and are looking at long-term growth. People are our business and if we invest in people, we will attract tier-one vendors."
Gupta said e92plus – which celebrated its 25th birthday last Friday (pictured) – had enjoyed five years of consecutive growth, during which time sales have risen 231 per cent. It now has offices in Surbiton, Manchester and the Netherlands, with an active database of 700 resellers, and key vendors including Websense, Lumension, Xirrus and AirTight.
Other vendors e92plus has launched and developed in the UK over its 25-year lifespan include Hummingbird, Netscreen, ISS, Trend Micro and Barracuda.
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