28 November 2002 Computacenter, the UK reseller and IT services company, reinforced its strong presence in Europe today with fresh acquisitions in Germany and Austria.
The London-listed company said it bought two businesses from General Electric – GE CompuNet of Germany and GE Capital IT Solutions of Austria – for an initial cash consideration of £36.5 million (€56.6m).
The amount paid could rise to £77 million (€121m), depending on the performance of the acquired businesses in 2003 and 2004.
The deal, which is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators, is due to be completed in early 2003.
“GE CompuNet is the German equivalent of Computacenter,” said Mike Norris, Computacenter’s CEO. “It has a strong services element in its portfolio and this supports Computacenter’s strategy of growing its services base and building contracted revenue streams.”
The deal marks an abrupt strategic U-turn for Computacenter, which withdrew from the German market in January 2002 because of a lack of scale.
It will be the leading IT infrastructure services provider in the UK, France and Germany and will be “well positioned” in Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, the company said.
The new group will have about 10,000 employees and combined revenue of more than €4 billion.
Commentators say its closest competitor in Europe’s IT reseller industry is Specialist Computer Holdings (SCH), a privately-held UK company that reported a turnover of £1.5 billion (€2.3 billion) in the year to March 2002.