After taking a break to "digest" some meaty acquisitions, Avnet could be set to get back on the M&A trail in Europe next year, with converged systems, security, and licensing renewals earmarked as key target areas.
Dieter Lott, vice president of business development, EMEA, is responsible for overseeing the distribution titan's acquisition strategy across the region. The firm has not made any buyouts in Europe for a year, since it announced a deal for German consultancy MSC Investoren, and Lott told CRN sister publication Channelnomics Europe that the hiatus has been "a conscious decision".
"We needed time to digest the likes of Magirus," he said. "We have taken on a very heavy acquisition load in the past seven or eight years, and there was a need to get things aligned. That has been our focus for the past 12 to 18 months."
Lott asserted that M&A will remain a major part of Avnet's expansion strategy, but claimed that the distributor may look to turn its focus towards different areas when it re-enters the acquisition fray. From next year onwards it "will be less about saying ‘let's buy a $500m Oracle or HP distributor'" as deals are geared towards new competencies and higher-value market areas, the Avnet man explained. He went on to pick out a few key technology areas that could pique the distributor's interest.
"Acquisitions remain a key strategy for Avnet for growth, that hasn't really changed in terms of our mission statement. But in terms of where we are focused, that has changed. [Previously] we have acquired a lot in the traditional distribution fulfilment space, but now we have little interest in that; our preference is more on the high end.
"Our acquisition strategy is [wholly] aligned to our overall strategy. Converged systems are a key area for us, and we are investing very heavily in that space. We also do not have a security business on a pan-European basis, and we want to build on the business around Cisco and RSA. The third area is renewals... and really deepening the business intelligence portion of that. The final area is around services."
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