Five channel firms featured in CRN's Top VARs research have been acquired this year - half the amount that had been snapped up by this time in 2017.
During the summer break last year CRN paused to assess the M&A activity in the channel and reported unprecedented consolidation, with no fewer than 10 of the 100 firms featured in our Top VARs research having been bought at that point in the year.
By this time in 2017 we had seen the likes of Danwood and Alternative Networks acquired by competitors, while firms including Misco and Civica had been acquired by private equity outfits.
Up to the same point this year, just five of the firms in Top VARs have been acquired - but that doesn't mean there hasn't been any mega deals.
Here we count these deals down from smallest to largest.
5. eBECS acquired by DXC Technology
In April DXC Technology acquired Chesterfield-based eBECS to bolster its Dynamics 365 capabilities.
EBECS reported revenue of £34.8m for the year ending 31 March 2017 - a £1.7m increase on the previous year. That trading year also saw services giant CSC acquire a 40 per cent stake in the firm.
CSC went on to merge with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's services business, forming DXC Technology, after which eBECS was acquired in its entirety.
The eBECS deal was part of a double swoop for Dynamics 365 capabilities, with Australian firm Sable37 also acquired.
EBECS CEO Kevin Hall said at the time: "This is a truly exciting time for our customers, our team of professionals, and the Microsoft community in our regions.
"DXC's maturity as a global systems integrator and respected Microsoft partner is an ideal fit for eBECS. Being part of DXC means having the strength and certainty of a long-term business partner with the global infrastructure, high-calibre resources and experience to allow us to truly lead our customers on their digital transformation journeys."
4. RedstoneConnect's MSP and SI businesses acquired by Excel IT
In one of the more unusual deals featured in this list, RedstoneConnect offloaded its managed services and systems integrator (SI) businesses as part of a radical transformation.
This year RedstoneConnect has pivoted to focus solely on software development and has since rebranded as Smartspace Software.
The two offloaded businesses had made up the bulk of the firm's total revenue of £47.57m.
The MSP business contributed £18m in sales to this figure (for the year ending 31 January 2018), while the SI business raked in £24.21m.
Smartspace Software received £19.6m for the pair, with a further £2m due on the successful completion of a particular project.
3. OCSL acquired by Cancom
In the only takeover by a foreign VAR featured in the list, West Sussex-based OCSL was gobbled up by German giant Cancom in a deal worth £29m.
During the year ending 31 March 2017 OCSL's parent company, The Organised Group, reported a revenue of £85.9m, with an operating profit of £3.1m.
The deal saw OCSL paid £26m in cash, with the remainder paid in shares of Cancom's UK-based subsidiary.
2. Jigsaw24 acquired by Alcuin
In the second-largest deal of this year so far, £125m-revenue Apple reseller Jigsaw24 changed private equity hands, with Alcuin Capital taking the reins from NorthEdge Capital.
The management buyout also saw CEO Martin Balaam exit the firm, to be replaced by then-MD Roger Whittle.
Jigsaw24's most recently reported results included a contribution from Root6, which was acquired in February 2017.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but previous owner NorthEdge Capital claimed to have seen a three-times return in its investment.
1. Apogee acquired by HP Inc
The largest deal of the year by some way has been HP's mammoth, and slightly surprising, takeover of managed print giant Apogee.
The deal, announced earlier this month, saw Apogee valued at £380m.
In the last Top VARs report Apogee was down as having a revenue run rate of £250m, while in its most recent trading report Apogee Group reported sales of £208.4m for the year ending 31 December 2017.
Apogee was itself featured as an acquirer in last year's version of this list, having snapped up its larger rival Danwood as part of its private equity-fuelled M&A frenzy.
Acquisitions of partners by vendors in the print space is seen as less bizarre than it would be in most other parts of the channel. In fact, last year's list featured Sharp and Kyocera, both of which had acquired from its channel base.
Following the Apogee acquisition, HP Inc's president insisted that the deal would not negatively affect the vendor's wider channel base.
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