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The 20 Top News Stories Of 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IT industry’s response to the social justice movement, a failed corporate takeover attempt, the division of the oldest IT vendor into two companies, and the most extensive cyberattack in years. It has been a very tumultuous 2020.

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20. Tech Data, Ingram Micro Acquired By Private Equity Firms

In 2020, two of the IT industry’s biggest distributors were involved in acquisition deals by private equity firms, a development likely to accelerate changes that IT distributors have been undergoing in recent years.

On Dec. 9, distributor Ingram Micro agreed to be acquired by Platinum Equity Partners in a deal valued at $7.2 billion. The acquisition, expected to close in early 2021, ends Ingram Micro’s four-year ownership by HNA Group, a Chinese company that has been hobbled by debt from a heavily leveraged acquisition binge.

Irvine, Calif.-based Ingram said the deal would provide the distributor with “added flexibility and resources to accelerate growth and execute on strategic initiatives.”

On June 30, private equity firm Apollo Global Management completed its $6 billion acquisition of Tech Data Corp., taking the publicly held distributor private. The acquisition deal was announced in November 2019.

CEO Rich Hume has continued to lead Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data under its new ownership and in September the distributor hired channel veteran Sammy Kinlaw as senior vice president of endpoint solutions for the Americas region.

The acquisitions could lead to a “distribution renaissance,” observers said, by allowing distributors to take a longer-term view of the distribution market and provide more custom solutions for channel partners. With the backing of private equity heavy hitters, distributors are also better positioned to drive new value for leading solution providers like CDW, Insight and Computacenter.

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