This year has brought a wealth of activity in terms of M&A and corporate restructuring, spanning from the world's largest vendors to smaller resellers with ambitious aims.
Comms player Daisy agreed to be taken private by a group of investors led by its chief executive Matthew Riley in a deal which valued the firm at almost £500m. Since the move, Riley anounced he would pass the CEO torch over to current Computacenter managing director Neil Muller as he moves to become executive chairman.
Two of the IT world's most recognisable B2B brands - HP and Symantec - announced plans to split their businesses in two in October. The former is spinning off its PC and printer division into a separate publicly traded entity, while the latter is dividing into two units focused on security and information management.
The biggest deal of the year in the enterprise vendor world was Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's x86 server business; the Chinese vendor has been quick to signal its intent to emulate its success in rising to the top of the PC rankings in the server market.
Elsewhere in vendorland, Apple agreed a major strategic partnership with IBM, which will see Big Blue providing more than 100 vertical-based enterprise apps that it hopes will allow iPad and iPhone users to harness the power of big data. Apple also took $3bn (£1.9bn) off its huge cash pile to buy headphone maker Beats.
Meanwhile, in the distribution space, the UK market has played host to a couple of sizeable deals; VIP Group bolstered its system builder credentials with the buyout of Ergo Computing, while ScanSource acquired Imago. Components distie and tablet maker KMS Components hit the wall after a row over the licences on its devices saw its largest retail customer, Argos, back away.
The VAR world has experienced a glut of deals, the most significant of which saw US titan CDW take a minority share in Kelway, with a view to increasing its shareholding over the next few years. Rival SCC bought £30m print player M2 and pledged the buyout would be "the first of many". After being acquired by Westcoast Holdings, system builder Viglen looks set to merge with new stablemate XMA.
A number of other channel outfits realised their M&A ambitions in 2014, including Alternative Networks, which bought both Intercept IT and Control Circle during a busy January. Other players to press on with consolidation plans included Maintel, which bought £12m comms VAR Proximity Communications, CSI Group, which bought Orbital Integrated Solutions in July - its sixth deal in two years - and Annodata, which is targeting two more acquisitions in the next year after buying VAR Keltec.
Pan-European VAR Imtech ICT split from its troubled parent, Dutch technical services heavyweight Royal Imtech, and was snapped up by French construction firm Vinci. Security VAR NTS became the latest notch on Capita's IT channel bedpost, while two more SI giants - Atos and Bull - were united, as the former bought its rival for €620m (£488m).
Trustmarque narrowly avoided becoming the year's most significant reseller casualty; the licensing and services firm was bought by Liberata after running into a funding shortfall and being given one week to find a new backer.
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