FusionStorm racks up $600m (£462.6m) in sales each year. Computacenter hasn't made an acquisition this large for around 15 years, since 2004, when it returned to the German market through buying out CompuNet, a €1.2bn-turnover player with around 4,250 staff.
Computacenter's big splash in the US has been a long time coming. We found out in July last year that Norris was mulling a US acquisition that could run into an eight-figure sum. Later that same year, long-time Computacenter veteran Mo Siddiqi returned to the reseller after a brief spell at Redcentric to lead expansion into new markets.
Rumours began to snowball this year that Computacenter was closing in on a US deal, with FusionStorm named as the target.
The UK-based reseller had previously relied on a partnership with US reseller CompuCom to serve its European customers across the Atlantic, which came to an end after Computacenter opened its first US location last year and laid out plans to build a 1,000-strong team.
So what sort of company is FusionStorm? The firm is based in San Francisco and led by channel veteran Daniel Serpico, who previously ran a top IBM provider called Jeskell Systems. FusionStorm has six offices across the US, a subsidiary in the Netherlands, and a branch in Beijing, China.
It's a top Dell EMC partner and one of a select few resellers, including Computacenter, Bechtle and Atea, which is part of the vendor's invite-only Titanium Black club. It's also a Cisco Gold partner and an HPE Gold partner.
It turned over $595.5m in 2017 but produced pre-tax profits of just $3.9m, meaning the firm logged a profit margin of just 0.65 per cent.
In its regulatory filing announcing the acquisition, Computacenter took pains to assure the market that FusionStorm's profits aren't as bad as they appear on paper.
Computacenter claims that FusionStorm has an EBITDA of $9.8m to $12.1m on a pro forma adjusted basis once you factor in its commitments to "materially reduce" the firm's interest costs to the tune of $5.2m and refinance its short-term debt and trade credit agreements.
It sounds like a lot of work for Computacenter. Although the acquisition consists of an initial cash consideration of $70m, a further $20m will be handed over so long as FusionStorm hits EBITDA targets over the next 15 months. On top of all that, Computacenter will provide a $45m cash injection into the company.
All in all, Computacenter's big splash in the US market comes with a tidy financial commitment of $135m, which seems an enormous price for a company with low profit margins and only around 500 employees.
But spending too much probably wasn't among Computacenter's chief concerns. The deal gives CC top-level status with some of the industry's largest vendors, and therefore authority in a market where it is relatively unknown.
Like its last acquisition announced earlier this month, for Misco's last-remaining subsidiary in the Netherlands, FusionStorm will very much lend to Computacenter's product business, which has been thriving so far this year, accounting for around 75 per cent of sales in the first six months of the year.
It's interesting to compare Computacenter's recent purchase to the international expansion efforts of its European rivals.
Like Bechtle, it's clear that Computacenter has opted to make blockbuster acquisitions in relatively unfamiliar markets through sticking to its supply chain roots. TechMarketView described Computacenter's deal as a "relatively bold, but non-risky move", and it's hard to disagree.
With 1,000 employees now stateside, Computacenter has certainly risen to become a true global - rather than European - player.
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