S Central ramps up acquisitions

S Central ramps up acquisitions

ExpressApp and Infotronics purchased for undisclosed sums

S Central has continued its aggressive acquisitions push and has purchased Melbourne-based integrator, ExpressApp, and its sister distributor, Infotronics. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

S Central managing director, Peter Mavridis, said the services company had been partnering with ExpressApps for the past five years on ad-hoc projects. Despite this, there was minimal customer overlap.

"They've been a reliable and terrific partner for us - they have worked with us providing storage and virtualisation skills to supplement our team," he said. "The relationship continued to get stronger, to the point where it made sense to bring them under the umbrella."

Alongside virtualisation expertise, ExpressApps also offered strong technical skills in Microsoft and Citrix technologies, Mavridis said.

S Central has also opted to pick up the Infotronics business. Mavridis said the distributor would continue to run independently to the integration business. It currently carried about 25 vendor product lines, including Appsense, Kerio Technologies, ThinPrint, Postini and Swsoft.

"This gives us direct access to key vendors around the virtualisation space," he said. "Infotronics will have a separate office and management team. We don't see any competitive issues - there are a lot of services companies out there who own distributors. But our plan is to keep it focused on specific and niche technologies rather than become a mainstream distributor."

S Central plans to retain all 25 full-time staff. In the long term, several key managers, including technical director, Phil Lancaster, would be assigned senior management positions in the S Central group, Mavridis said.

S Central's latest purchase is part of a broader plan to gain a national footprint. In November, it picked up NSW integrator, AGM IT. The deal provided S Central with access to Dell, Citrix and virtualisation know-how. It also picked up library services provider, DA Library Technologies, in October. Mavridis said it would rebrand the AGM IT business to S Central on July 1. ExpressApps will be rebranded later down the track.

Back in January 2005, Mavridis told ARN it had set aside $20 million to fund its acquisitions strategy. He said there was still plenty in the kitty for more acquisitions. Several more were already in the pipeline, including a company in Brisbane.

"We're not restricted to that limit either - if we find the right deals and need to increase that, it won't be difficult," he said.

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