Westcon Acquires Landis

Netherlands-based company expands distributor's global presence

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Westcon Group has agreed to acquire the distribution business of Netherlands-based Landis Group, a deal that gives the U.S. networking distributor a significant European presence and stronger manufacturer relationships, Westcon executives said.

Alan Marc Smith: Westcon customers will be able to pursue global opportunities.

Landis focuses on the data networking, telecommunications, storage and network security markets through value-added distribution, services and training. The sale, for an undisclosed sum of cash and shares, includes all of Landis' sales offices and distribution centers, plus the main part of its logistics operations, according to Landis.

The acquisition brings added geographic opportunities for Westcon, as well as technology and operational synergies, said Alan Marc Smith, CEO of Westcon. "We now have the ability to offer our customers the opportunity to pursue large global opportunities," he said.

The Landis operations in the sale include 600 employees and accounts totaling revenue of $400 million, or 65 percent of the company's total business, Landis said.

Pending approval, the deal will give Westcon a new presence in seven European countries and strengthen its footprint in three others, executives said. Landis has locations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Distribution centers are located in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Tech Data was not surprised by Westcon's expansion plans. "Our strategy is clearly to diversify and drive growth in new areas such as storage and networking," said Steve Raymund, CEO of the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor. "In each of those categories, we encounter boutique or specialty distributors like Westcon or Bell Microproducts in storage. Some of those guys are . . . quite formidable. Westcon does a nice job."

Momentum in the networking market is "definitely building up," said Norbert Sluzewski, president of New York-based solution provider DataVox Technologies. "When our butts are on the line, we often turn to Westcon."

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