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AVI-SPL Acquires UC-Focused Canadian Solution Provider As CEO Says $1B Revenue Mark Is Near

After making its third acquisition in the past 11 months, AVI-SPL CEO John Zettel tells CRN that more M&A activity could be on the horizon for 2018 if 'the fit is clear.'

Fast-growing solution provider AVI-SPL has acquired its third company in the past 11 months and looks to chase more M&A opportunities in 2018 with backing from private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.

The Tampa, Fla.-based collaboration-focused company, ranked No. 51 on CRN's 2017 Solution Provider 500 list, said Wednesday it has acquired solution provider Sharp's Audio Visual for an undisclosed amount. Calgary-based Sharp's Audio Visual has eight locations across six provinces in Canada.

"Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world," said AVI-SPL CEO John Zettel in an interview with CRN. "Businesses are growing here and expanding to a multinational level. Many of our customers in the United States and EMEA also have a presence in Canada."

[Related: Federal Solution Provider NCI To Be Bought By IT-Savvy Private Equity Firm H.I.G. Capital For $283M]

In November 2016, AVI-SPL acquired San Diego-based Anderson Audio Visual to strengthen its resources and presence in high-growth markets. Two months later, AVI-SPL acquired Newton, Mass.-based broadcasting platform specialist VideoLink.

"We're not acquiring companies simply because they are available," said Zettel. "We're joining forces when the fit is clear, and it positions AVI-SPL to better serve our customers.

"As for the future, we will look at opportunities when they are presented to us and run through the same line of questioning. If a company can enhance our platform of offerings, we'll absolutely pursue it. If not, then we'll move on," he said.

Red-hot AVI-SPL is striving to hit the $1 billion revenue mark. Zettel said with all the acquisitions over the past year in addition to organic growth, the $1 billion goal is nearing.

Part of the sales growth will come from Sharp's Audio Visual's integration skill set and unified communications and collaboration focus. "We were eager to jump on this exceptional opportunity to enhance our local offering, and to provide a truly global solution for our multinational customers based in Canada," said Jeff Faber, president and CEO of Sharp's Audio Visual, in a statement.

Sharp's Audio Visual's customers will now be provided with 24/7 global help desk support and new remote monitoring and management capabilities through AVI-SPL's portfolio.

AVI-SPL is also striving to grow overseas, recently opening up a new office in Frankfurt, Germany, a hot spot for Europe's financial services industry.


"We're very excited for what the future holds," said Zettel.

H.I.G. Capital bought AVI-SPL in April 2016. The Miami-based global private equity investment firm has $23 billion of equity under management, according to a release.

In July, H.I.G. Capital agreed to purchase U.S. government solution provider NCI for $283 million in a move to accelerate its use of technologies like artificial intelligence and software development. The firm holds stakes in several other solution providers including CXtec, Milestone Technologies, Teracai and Trace3.

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