SoftwareONE is set to acquire Comparex, creating a licensing giant that will manage €10bn (£8.8bn) in software sales.
The merger, announced this afternoon, sees SoftwareONE acquire 100 per cent of Comparex from its previous owner, IT services provider Raiffeisen Informatik GmbH.
SoftwareONE said the merger will see the new firm help customers manage an estimated €10bn in software sales.
Comparex CEO Thomas Reich and Marc Betgem, chief sales officer, will join SoftwareONE's executive management team.
The combined company will have a headcount of 5,500 in over 200 locations across 88 countries.
Daniel von Stockar, chairman of SoftwareONE, said that the company had long been searching for an appropriate partner before purchasing licensing solution provider (LSP) Comparex.
"As a private company, we carefully review potential acquisitions to ensure that we are best utilising our capital," he said.
"Along with our investor KKR, we spent considerable time intensely searching for the ideal partner and are convinced we have found it with Comparex.
"Together, we will be driven by SoftwareONE's core values as we continue to transform the industry."
SoftwareONE will continue to have its headquarters in Stanz, Switzerland but confirmed that Comparex's Leipzig HQ will still play a role in supporting its global and EMEA customers.
SoftwareONE claimed that the acquisition is a part of its focus on long-term growth and investment in its employee base.
"Our employees are our strongest asset and number one priority, a belief that SoftwareONE shares and has proved in its commitment to its workforce throughout its history," said Reich.
"By bringing together the knowledge and talents of both companies, we will enable our customers globally to stay more competitive in their industries through the advanced global solutions and services we deliver."
Alex Alexandrov, M&A leader at SoftwareONE, said: "The combined company will be built on a 'best-of-both' approach, bringing together SoftwareONE's entrepreneurial culture with Comparex's process-driven experience.
"As one company, we will invest in the most talented team of colleagues in our industry to drive solutions and outcomes for our customers at an even greater pace."
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but closing is expected in the first half of 2019 - subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals.
Speaking to CRN before the deal was confirmed, Stuart Fenton, CEO at QuantiQ, said the merger makes sense for both parties.
"SoftwareONE has made a better job at transforming away from a traditional licensing reseller by offering more advisory services," he explained.
"Comparex, by comparison, has struggled to transform, although Richard Best was starting to make a difference in the UK.
"Bytes are still the strongest UK LSP and SoftwareONE would still be playing catch-up."
UK-based MSP snaps up Qunifox, bolstering its Benelux arm to 125 employees
Credit guru Eddie Pacey emphasises that good credit control is vital as he reminisces on a case involving an Essex-based reseller
Customers offered trade-in discount of up to 30 per cent as part of vendor's new channel recruitment programme
From whaling and USB attacks to third-party exploitation, what will be the biggest threats facing end users next year? We asked execs at eight cyber-security resellers and consultancies to name their picks