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U.K.-based Computacenter Acquires Business IT Source to Expand U.S. Footprint

Joseph F. Kovar

Computacenter is looking to boost its North American revenue, which already accounts for about 39 percent of its total worldwide revenue, with the acquisition of Business IT Source, or BITS, following earlier acquisitions of FusionStorm and Pivot Technology Services.

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Computacenter, one of the U.K.’s largest IT solution providers, Wednesday said it has acquired Business IT Source, a Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based solution provider, in a bid to increase its market reach to the midwestern U.S.

With the acquisition, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, U.K.-based Computacenter gets 100 new U.S.-based employees who are expected to work within the business as part of a separate operating unit within Computacenter United States.

Business IT Source, or BITS, in 2021 reported revenue of about $245 million, with an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes, or operating earnings) of about $8.9 million.

[Related: M&A ADVISER TO SOLUTION PROVIDERS: TO BOOST VALUATION, GET TO 50 PERCENT RECURRING REVENUE]

Prior to the acquisition, Computacenter already had a significant presence in the U.S., with an annual U.S. revenue of about $2.6 billion.

This was primarily the results of two acquisitions. Computacenter in late 2018 acquired FusionStorm, a large San Francisco-based IT solution provider which in 2017 had revenue just shy of $600 million. Computacenter followed that in late 2020 with the acquisition of Pivot Technology Solutions, a Toronto-based solution provider. The value of that deal was $80.4 million.

Computacenter, which is publicly listed on London’s FTSE, in March reported that its North American business saw strong organic revenue growth of 27.9 percent, or 114.3 percent including its Pivot acquisition, making its North American business its largest technology sourcing revenues source with about $2.6 billion, up from $1.2 billion the previous year and virtually nothing in the first half of 2018.

That $2.6-billion figure is about 39 percent of Computacenter’s total worldwide revenue of $6.7 billion.

Computacenter USA was ranked No. 19 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 list, while BITS was ranked No. 107.

Computacenter executives declined to comment on the record about the acquisition.

However, in a prepared statement, Mike Norris, Computacenter Group CEO, said Computacenter’s U.S. business continues to grow organically, and the BITS acquisition is an opportunity to improve his company’s positioning.

“BITS gives us a much stronger presence in the Midwest of the United States and brings some great people, customers and leadership to our business. The Buffalo Grove Integration Center will allow us to serve more of our Midwest regional customers locally over time, helping us to meet our sustainability goals. I am confident that the BITS leadership will seize the opportunity to continue their current growth momentum,” Norris said.

BITS CEO and Co-founder Bob Frauenheim said in a prepared statement that his company is excited to become part of Computacenter.

“This gives us the opportunity to provide a much broader range of capabilities to our customers and growth opportunities for our people. Operating as a separate business unit will allow us to continue our personalized service while leveraging Computacenter’s capabilities to best serve customers and associates,” Frauenheim said.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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