The founder of distributor Widget has told CRN selling up was the best way to guarantee continued growth after reaching a deal with CMS Distribution.
CMS is gunning for 2016 revenues of £300m following its swoop on Widget, which has helped build a market for consumer electronics brands including TomTom, Fitbit, Pebble and Sphero.
Founded in 2000 by Mark Needham, Widget claims its annual accounts for its fiscal year ending 31 March 2016 will show revenue more than doubling from last year's tally of £58m. It also boasts operations in the Netherlands and Sweden.
Needham, who is Widget's chairman, said selling up to a larger rival was a logical step for the Stevenage-based consumer electronics specialist.
"Widget has doubled its sales two years in succession, which is a tremendous achievement from the staff and the management, led by my business partner David Elder," Needham told CRN.
"If we are to continue to grow and serve our customers we need access to the systems and finance which CMS offers."
Rich Marsden, managing director of rival distributor VIP, was quick to express his approval for the deal on Twittter:
Great acquisition of Widget Group by @CMSDistribution both excellent in their fields.— Rich Marsden (@Rich_VIPCom) May 7, 2016
Anglo-Irish distributor CMS - which serves both the B2B and retail channels - set itself the goal of reaching £500m turnover by 2020 by making an acquisition every 18 months. CMS' previous conquests included Interactive Ideas and CCI.
With Widget on board, CMS is targeting combined revenues of £300m-plus for 2016 and has 250 staff in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands. CMS said it will continue to run the business under Widget Group's brands for the "foreseeable future" and that Widget's leadership will remain.
Widget's recent success stories include the Sphero BB8 robot and CMS founder and managing director Frank Salmon billed the distributor as "experts in emerging consumer technologies". Widget recently declared itself the UK's fastest-growing large or mid-sized distributor following a Companies House analysis.
"They have a large and loyal customer base and, like CMS, they are an award-winning distributor in their field," Salmon (pictured) said.
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