Top Cisco, Avaya Partners Make M&A Plays

Two of the country's top networking solution providers confirmed acquisitions of fellow networking VARs this week, only the latest evidence of a frenzied M&A climate in the channel this year.

Black Box Corp. (2010 VAR 500 No. 69) earlier this week announced it had acquired Logos Communications Systems, based in Westlake, Ohio. Logos, a Cisco silver partner specializing in wireless LAN, routing, switching, security and unified communications, did about $13 million in revenue last year and will join Black Box's regional operations, with President Christopher Tjotlos now reporting to Steve Anderson, Regional General Manager at Black Box.

"The entire Logos team is very excited to not only be able to offer our customers the highest level of care at the local level, but now be able to assist them on a global level, too," said Tjotlos in a statement.

Black Box, a $1 billion global VAR based in Lawrence, Pa., is an infrastructure, UC, wireless, security and VoIP and video powerhouse -- a Cisco Gold and Avaya Platinum partner, as well as a partner of Polycom, ShoreTel, Siemens, Mitel, Alcatel-Lucent and many others.

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"The addition of Logos to the Black Box family will greatly enhance our organic Cisco capabilities," added Anderson. "They will be an excellent addition to our company."

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Carousel Makes A Move Elsewhere, Carousel Industries (2010 VAR 500 No. 202) earlier this week completed an acquisition of LANForce Consulting Group, an Atlanta-based solution provider. Exeter, R.I.-based Carousel is an top partner of Avaya, Juniper, Microsoft, Extreme Networks and several others, and with LANForce adds a solution provider with specialties in the financial, health care, education and enterprise sectors, as well as access to several state and local government contracts.

"LANForce has a 12-year history of delivering stellar technology solutions to the Atlanta business community," said Bill Annino, director of converged solutions at Carousel, in a statement. "This acquisition further enhances Carousel's commitment to providing our customers with a highly qualified national service team."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Carousel continues to expand, having grown revenues 12.5 percent last year, to about $165.6 million.

Mergers and acquisitions among VARs have been frequent throughout 2010, especially in hot technology segments, like networking and security, and in specific vendor channels, such as among Avaya and former Nortel enterprise partners.