Distribution Blockbuster: Chinese Logistics Giant To Buy Ingram Micro for $6B, Partners Say 'Stay The Course'


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Chinese logistics firm Tianjin Tianhai in one fell swoop has reshaped the technology landscape with plans to acquire Ingram Micro, the No. 1 technology distributor, for $6 billion. 

The $46 billion distribution powerhouse will be folded into $29 billion HNA Group, creating a global conglomerate with more capital to fuel both organic growth as well as mergers and acquisitions. Ingram Micro said the deal will expand its geographic reach and add more capabilities around high-value IT solutions, mobility lifecycle services, cloud, and commerce and fulfillment solutions. .

“As a part of HNA Group, we will have the ability to accelerate strategic investment, as we continue to capitalize on the constant evolution of technology and emerging trends by adding expertise, capabilities and geographic reach,” Alain Monie, CEO of the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor, said in a statement Wednesday.

 

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Solution providers who work with Ingram Micro urged the company to stay focused on its commitment to delivering top-level services to the channel. 

Sam Haffar, CEO of Houston-based Computex Technology Solutions, No. 130 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said the distribution behemoth needs to "stay the course," maintaining the same high level of services for partners.

"Ingram has been a great partner for Computex for 28 years," said Haffar. "They need to stay the course. They have to make sure they keep the same level of service and consistency that has made them a leader. They need to stay focused on being the best.  If the people running the ship continue to run the ship the same way everything will be okay."

[RELATED: Ingram Micro Boosts European Presence With Latest Acquisition]

The new Chinese conglomerate may even bring new benefits to partners, said Haffar. "There could be significant advantages," he said. "That remains to be seen. We'll continually assess what this means and what this new relationship will bring to us."

Haffar's advice to Ingram executives: "Keep doing what has made you great. If things start slipping the competition will come knocking. It's that simple."

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2016 and will provide Ingram Micro shareholders with a 39 percent premium over the average closing share price in the month prior to the acquisition. Ingram Micro’s stock soared by 23.6 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday to $36.65 per share, approaching the $38.90 per share offered by HNA Group.

Both Ingram Micro and its U.S. partners have been pushing hard in recent years to expand their ability to sell outside of North America, said Dave DeCamillis, vice president of sales and marketing for Denver-based Platte River Networks, pointing to Ingram's move to expand its Trust X Alliance elite partner program to the United Kingdom and South America in recent months.

“This could possibly pave the way for Asia, which would be pretty cool,” DeCamillis said.  

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