Ingram Micro Boosts European Presence With Latest Acquisition

Ingram Micro will strengthen its European presence with the purchase a geographic unit of a value-added distributor with expertise in Cisco Systems, IBM, EMC, Zebra and Avaya technologies.

The Irvine, Calif.-based distributor said its acquisition of the $250 million Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) division of Moscow-based RRC Group will bolster its regional capabilities around networking, security and IT infrastructure. The division also brings robust service capabilities around logistics, education and technical and marketing support.

Specifically, the deal should enable Ingram Micro to extend more higher-value capabilities into countries such as Poland, where the distribution giant today has a practice focused mostly on just mobility, according to Mike Zilis, an executive vice president for Ingram Micro.

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’This is a complementary acquisition,’ he told CRN.

Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close this spring, were not disclosed, although the deal is expected to slightly boost Ingram Micro’s profitability in 2016. RRC as a whole has between 501 and 1,000 employees, according to LinkedIn, with the CEE division employing a couple of hundred, Zilis said.

While Ingram Micro already works with Cisco and Zebra in the region, the deal will add many new vendors to the distributor’s line card there, particularly around security, Zilis said. And From a technology standpoint, Zilis said RRC’s expertise around networking, security and point-of-sale solutions were the primary draws.

RRC’s CEE division is based in Poland, and its current leadership team is expected to join Ingram Micro and help lead the business once the deal closes. Ingram Micro plans to maintain the RRC brand to take advantage of its name recognition, and it will continue to operate essentially as its own division, Zilis said.

The CCE division has performed well in recent years, Zilis said, adding vendors and growing faster than the market at large.

Poland delivers 16 percent of RRC’s overall sales, according to RRC’s website. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Slovenia delivers 11 percent, 10 percent, 6 percent and 2 percent of RRC’s sales, respectively; operations in all those countries will be acquired by Ingram Micro.

Russia is by far RRC’s largest geography, responsible for 38 percent of the company’s overall sales. RRC’s interest was in divesting the CEE piece, according to Zilis.

This is Ingram Micro’s eighth acquisition since the start of 2015. Other deals include Odin’s service automation platform in December; Brazilian distribution powerhouse Grupo Acao and Netherlands-based e-commerce fulfillment business Docdata in October; mobile life-cycle services companies Canai Group of the U.K. and Clarity Technology of Portugal in June; Aptec Saudi Arabia, the country’s largest distributor, in June; and Tech Data’s Peru and Chile business in March.

Ingram Micro will continue to look for acquisition opportunities that will allow it to expand its capabilities either around a specific line-of-business application or broader set of high-value skills, Zilis said.

Solution provider Baroan Technologies, Elmwood Park, N.J., previously didn’t have the capability to service the foreign subsidiaries of several of its clients, according to founder and President Guy Baroan. Baroan is optimistic that Ingram Micro’s RRC acquisition will make it possible for his company to provide faster and less expensive solutions to customers with foreign operations by reducing the need for travel.

’Ingram’s purchase and expansion into these markets is making it easier for us to work with clients,’ Baroan said.

Ingram Micro’s stock fell 3 percent in trading Thursday to $27.18 per share. The acquisition was announced before the market opened Thursday.