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yARN: Who's next in the M&A firing line?

yARN: Who's next in the M&A firing line?

There has been lots of talk about consolidation in the industry but not that much action to date

Finally somebody has come out with a major M&A deal. We've been waiting for the hints and off-record rumours to come out publicly and at last we have one: S Central, ComputerCorp and Synergy Plus will combine as one listed IT integration powerhouse.

So who is next? Who is being lined up against the takeover wall? Is this the start of a rash?

We know IBM is sniffing around the Sun scent and if the two titans tie up it will be a major disruption to the industry. But to date we have yet to really see any explosive M&A activity arising out of the global economic downturn.

Yes, the security sector has long been pursuing a consolidation trend – Symantec and MessageLabs being a good example – and there are other companies that have picked up big companies in recent times – Oracle and HP come to mind.

Yet, aside from today's news there have been very few outstanding purchases or takeovers hitting the airwaves. Even the Microhoo (Microsoft and Yahoo for the uninitiated) banter has fallen off the register.

One would have thought that with the drying up of credit and revenues as a result of the global downturn, there would be several fire sales of IT companies that have gone kaput.

There may still be, but nobody has gone public with them to date.

Domestically, there is always talk of this or that company being offered up for those on the hunt – Cellnet is one and the recently purchased Kaz another. However, despite the pundits’ claims we will see a swathe of consolidation, the M&A chatter is distinctively dim.

For my two cents, I’d love to see a major distribution tie up – perhaps Ingram and ED, or Dicker Data and Synnex. Clearly they are both a long shot, but it’d certainly shake things up. Who do you reckon is next?


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