UK-based audiovisual distie Sahara has been acquired by Nasdaq-listed Boxlight for £74m.
Based in Dartford, Sahara carries products from the likes of Epson and Panasonic, and also manufacturers its own range of products.
Speaking to CRN, Sahara CEO Mark Starkey (pictured), who was previously UK MD at Logicalis, said the acquisition will enable the firm to boost the development of its product range.
"It means we can accelerate our growth," he said.
"We have a distribution business and some key distribution partnerships with companies like Epson, so it's 100 per cent business as usual, but there's a lot of focus on our Clevertouch brand.
"It's really exciting for us, as a manufacturer, to develop that side of the business."
Nigel and Kevin Bately, who founded Sahara in 1976, will remain shareholders and stay on as advisors to Boxlight.
Publicly-listed Boxlight is a manufacturer of interactive hardware and software for the education sector in the US, with the acquisition of Sahara giving it a stronger foothold in Europe.
The firm has a market cap of $72.94m and reported sales of $7.8m for its second quarter ending 30 June 2020 - down 28 per cent on the previous year, largely because of school closures in the US as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Boxlight has also been busy in the investment arena over recent months.
The acquisition of a portfolio of screen sharing intellectual property was also announced yesterday.
Sahara meanwhile reported sales of £72.6m in 2018, up 21.2 per cent year on year.
Numbers for the following year are yet to be published on the Companies House website, but Starkey said the firm has continued to grow in 2019 and 2020.
He moved to reassure vendors and reseller partners that the firm remains committed to the distribution side of its business.
He said that Sahara will be also pushing hard to develop itself in the commercial space, with the split between education and commercial standing at roughly 70/30 at the moment.
"Everything we do is sold through the channel," he said. "In terms of key IT players its [companies like] Softcat, Computacenter and SCC.
"We'll be working closely with them on trying to develop more on the commercial side.
"We're also opening up Boxlight to the commercial sector, which will be interesting to them."
The deal was made up of £52m in cash and £22m in preferred stock and sees Boxlight take complete ownership of Sahara.
Boxlight CEO Michael Pope said: "I am thrilled to combine the resources of Boxlight and Sahara, two of the most recognised companies in education technology.
"The acquisition expands our geographic reach - particularly in the EMEA region, provides significant revenue growth, results in immediate consolidated profitability, and adds tremendous global management talent.
"We have committed to dramatic growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and we are delivering on that promise."
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Acquisition by Boxlight will see Sahara accelerate the development of its own product range
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