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Network juggernaut continues charge

Network juggernaut continues charge

There's more to come - that was the ominous warning for competitors after South African channel Goliath Datatec made the largest local integration buyout of the year with its acquisition last week of Anite Pacific.

Datatec paid almost $25 million (11 million pounds) for the Australia and New Zealand arm of Anite.

This buyout follows its acquisition of CNI late last year, and Corporate Computer Sales and ACT Network Integration in March.

"We've made no secret of the fact that we want to be the biggest networking-focused integrator in the Asia-Pacific region and we will be there very shortly," said Lyle Potgeiter, managing director of the CNI Group.

Potgeiter said that Datatec is looking at another possible four integration acquisitions, with at least one being of a similar size to the Anite acquisition.

"It will be in a different area of the market, though," he said.

This acquisition positions the Datatec-owned group as the second biggest network integrator in Australia, behind Com Tech, with more than 450 staff and over $200 million in revenues, according to Potgeiter.

In the coming months, both Anite and the CNI group will be brought together under Datatec's worldwide integration brand of Logical.

Anite's managing director, Laurie Stevens, said that his company will continue to provide network and support services and will retail all the existing management team. Stevens said he will report directly to Logical's CEO Ricky Helms at the South African HQ.

Potgeiter claimed that there was "virtually no overlap" between the two businesses. "They are very WAN focused while we are solutions and integration focused," Potgeiter said. He also played down any potential management clashes or overlap.

"It is Datatec's philosophy that we need all the management talent we can get to run such a rapidly growing business." He said he did not believe therewould be any redundancies.

"Again, this is a rapidly growing business. Why would we need to make people redundant?"

Stevens said he believes the two organisations are "complementary" and want to "grow like crazy".


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