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Integration: It's a dog eat dog world

Integration: It's a dog eat dog world

Rapid consolidation across the IT integration channel continues unabated, with many players signalling aggressive plans for the New Year.

Last week, Leading Solutions purchased fellow Melbourne infrastructure services player, BCA IT. Leading Solutions managing director, Frank Colli, said the deal would give it access to new customers while boosting its skill set. It is one of many acquisitions it is pursuing.

At the same time, Melbourne-based S Central struck an agreement to join its business with NSW services player, AGM IT. The pair hope their combined might will open up opportunities in larger national projects.

A spate of deals have been inked in the past 12 months. For many, acquisitions are a way to grow faster or secure a position in a chosen field.

BUILDING BUSINESS

ASX-listed services provider, ASG Group, recently acquired applications developer, Vindaloo Systems, to strengthen its managed services offerings. CEO, Geoff Lewis, said it intended to keep an eye out for more opportunities in the coming year. At its annual general meeting, chairman, Stan Lewis, said a successful acquisitions strategy had contributed to strong turnover growth and profitability.

UXC set aside $20 million last year to fund takeovers. Organisations purchased over the past 12 months include Oxygen, BCT Group and eOne Integrated Business Solutions. Its subsidiary, Red Rock Consulting, also acquired Jigsaw. "We think we have enough services offerings. What we're trying to do is build up the depth within those," executive chairman, Geoff Lord, said. "We're looking for bolt-on acquisitions or those that can increase our position."

And it's not just the traditional IT players which are sharpening acquisitions strategies. Telco powerhouses, such as Telstra and Optus, have also gone to market for integration skills.

Like its larger rivals, Datacom CEO, Michael Browne, said the services provider planned to go shopping next year. Potential deals would be driven by the need for specific skill sets, breadth or geographic expansion. He said it was also important to find companies that were like-minded and fitted into its existing business.


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