The companies merging under the new Hostech/Anittel SMB powerhouse claim the deal is a fast way to fulfil their growth strategies.
Hostech, a telecommunications integrator, announced its intention to purchase IT service firms Anittel, Accord, Axxis and Aspirence for $6.9 million in cash and $6.75m in shares. The merged group is set to become a national SMB services and hosting provider and will be led by new executive chairman and Anittel founder, Peter Kazacos.
Axxis Technology managing director, Matthew Dickerson, said the companies shared a common interest in delivering SMB services. He saw the merger providing a faster route for his Dubbo-based integration firm to grow.
“One of the things in our growth strategy was to continue to build our regional focus to look after the SMB sector,” he said. “When we had discussions with Hostech and Anittel, there was a common vision. We had to make a decision to grow organically, or jump on-board with someone with a larger footprint and a similar vision.”
The acquisition agreement also means Axxis can flesh out its product and services offering to its clientele, Dickerson said.
For WA service provider, Accord, broadening coverage across Australia was a major incentive to take on Hostech’s acquisition proposal. Accord has a number of clients with offices in capital cities across the country and in the past, had to source services to third-party players. Through the merger, nationwide services can be provided in-house, according to Accord managing director, Mike Ford.
As an example, he pointed to an education provider in Sydney it was currently delivering managed services to via its five stated-based staff.
“While that has been good for us, it has been hard to manage and expand there because we’ve got a number of colleges and schools in the area interested in our services. Talking to them and letting them know at this stage we don’t even have an office there makes it less attractive for them to come on-board,” Ford said.
“With this merger, we can have a presence in Sydney with Anittel, which lets us quickly expand in the education market, which is a big sector for us in WA.”
Ford also saw the agreement as giving staff an opportunity to work in different parts of Australia.
Aspirence owner, Mark Ilott, valued the additional resources and expertise its company would have access to once the merger is approved.
“Anittel had been looking to build out its ability across Australia and at the same time we recognised the future in IT services required us to get a little bigger,” he said. “We all got together and it made sense.”
All three companies were adamant the acquisition process would not impact business operations or disrupt client services. While both Dickerson and Ford expressed interest in playing a bigger role in the combined group, Ilott was tightlipped on life after the merger.
The merger is subject to Hostech shareholder approval.