Spotlight on Mergers and Acquisitions

There was unprecedented upheaval in the solution provider channel in 2015, with countless deals impacting hundreds of people. The M&A activity was so significant, CDN chose to set aside the tradition of naming a top newsmaker of the year and made it M&A activity the top story.

For an insider view on what is prompting the shake-up, we asked Harry Zarek of Compugen – the force behind the the biggest acquisition of the year,  Metafore – what was driving the changes.

Zarek said it comes down to a few issues that are converging in the marketplace.

Generational:  Some owners who got into the PC business at an early stage are reaching the end of their respected careers and want to move on.

Scale: The companies in need of scale are looking at acquisitions so they can offer a broad array of services customers are seeking.

Scalar’s strategic acquisition of Eosensa, is a good example, he says. With Eosensa now in the fold, Scalar is now able to offer customers end-to-end technology solutions, from risk and gap assessments to technology recommendations, implementation, integration and ongoing managed services.

“This is a natural maturation of the industry,” Zarek said.

Here is a recap of the major deals in the Canadian channel in 20

  • New Signature, an American solution provider based in Washington, D.C. acquired CMS Consulting. That deal also included Infrastructure Guardian, a sister company of CMS. The deal resulted in New Signature establishing roots in Canada and making Brian Bourne the new president of New Signature Canada.
  • New Signature Canada acquired top Microsoft Canada solution provider Imason Inc.
  • Scalar Decisions Inc. and Calgary’s Mainland Information Systems Ltd., confirmed a merger agreement in the summer. This deal could possibly place the new company near the Top 5 of the CDN solution provider rankings.
  • Currently Scalar is No. 11 on the CDNTop 100 list up from 15 last year with revenues between $150 million to $175 million. Mainland has been growing rapidly in the last five years and has risen to No. 16 on the list with revenues between $100 million to $125 million.
  • Winnipeg-based solution provider Powerland took a major step to achieving its goal of expanding its service coverage across the Prairie Provinces with the acquisition of FACT Computers in Saskatchewan.
  • WBM Office Systems, a Top 100 solution provider announced the acquisition of Agilisys, an F5 solutions and infrastructure management services provider in western Canada.
  • IT Weapons Inc. acquired fellow solution provider Collins IT. The two companies, both based in Brampton, were later acquired by Konica Minolta.
  • Internet service provider TeraGo Networks Inc. purchased Kelowna, B.C.-based cloud provider RackForce for $33 million.
  • Insite Computer Group Inc. and Edmonton-based F12 Networks Inc. merged
  • CompuCom sold off its software licensing business to SoftwareOne.
  • Markham-based IT provider BDO Solutions merged with Systemgroup Inc.
  • CDNTop 100 Solution Provider Quartet Service Inc. of Toronto acquired En Vogue Computers also of Toronto.