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Westcon To Acquire U.K.-Based Convergence Distributor

Westcon Group said its parent company, Datatec Ltd., plans to acquire U.K.-based Crane Telecommunications Group, a value-added distributor of voice, data and converged communications solutions, for about $40 million in cash.

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The deal, announced Wednesday, will give Westcon Group, Tarrytown, N.Y., a stronger presence in the Avaya and Nortel markets in Europe, according to Barry Shakespeare, executive vice president of Westcon Europe.

"From a corporate point of view in terms of Westcon, I think there will be potential benefits for us simply because this now positions us as the No. 1 partner for Avaya and Nortel on not just a regional basis in Europe but on a global basis," Shakespeare said.

The Crane deal comes about a month after Westcon's $70 million purchase of European security distributor NOXS. Both acquisitions are expected to close in about a month.

"For the last number of years, we've viewed Crane entirely as a competitor, and we've tried very hard to see how we could compete with Crane, which had the major market share for Avaya in the U.K.," Shakespeare said. "For us, it was a great opportunity to see how we could potentially acquire Crane and then harness the skills that they've developed over the years with their go-to-market programs and their customer support programs."

In addition to strengthening its Avaya, Nortel, Alcatel and Mitel relationships, Westcon will now work with Samsung and BT Network Services as well as Crane's base of about 250 convergence and mobility resellers.

"Westcon Group is absolutely committed to being a world-class leading player in the convergence, security and mobility space. That's what we state very clearly on our corporate strategic plan. The acquisition of NOXS recently and now Crane is just part of our progress to be a dominant player," Shakespeare said. "It gives us a very unique proposition of being one of the largest players in the world for convergence solutions, but now with a significant security business."

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