IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SYNNEX Buys Westcon-Comstor’s Americas Business

Worth up to $830 million, the deal augments SYNNEX’s offerings in the critical security, unified communications, and networking markets. By Rich Freeman

SYNNEX Corp., of Fremont, Calif., has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Westcon-Comstor’s North American and Latin American operations from the value-added distributor’s parent company, Datatec Ltd.

In connection with that deal, which is worth up to $830 million, SYNNEX will also acquire a minority equity stake in Westcon-Comstor’s international business and sell a minority equity stake in its own business to Datatec.

Based in South Africa, Datatec is a global IT solutions provider with over $6 billion in annual revenues and more than 8,000 employees in over 70 countries. Westcon-Comstor, its technology distribution arm, has deep expertise in security, unified communications, and networking. Indeed, the company recently announced expanded alliances with Symantec Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., and Viptela Inc., of San Jose, Calif.

Buying Westcon-Comstor Americas will augment SYNNEX’s capabilities in strategic markets, according to company president and CEO Kevin Murai.

“We believe this is a unique opportunity that is transformational to SYNNEX and is aligned to our strategy of positioning the business to where technology is growing,” said Murai in a press statement. “The Westcon-Comstor brand has been built over time by a very deep and talented team and we are excited to welcome the Americas team to our family.”

For his part, Westcon-Comstor CEO Dolph Westerbos said that joining forces with SYNNEX will enable his company to offer its customers access to a wide selection of new and complementary solutions and business services.

“SYNNEX is an undisputed leader in IT distribution, particularly in North America,” Wetserbos said in prepared remarks. “Their breadth of customers and technology solutions will be a tremendous benefit to our portfolio.”

Under terms of the deal announced today, SYNNEX will pay Datatec $500 million in stock and $100 million in cash to acquire Westcon-Comstor Americas, plus a further $200 million if unspecified financial targets are satisfied by February 2018. In addition, Datatec will receive $30 million for a 10 percent ownership stake in its Westcon-Comstor International business, which operates in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region.

SYNNEX will assume approximately $115 million of debt from Datatec as well, and grant the company a minority ownership stake.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. According to a company spokesperson, SYNNEX will begin merging its new Westcon-Comstor holdings with the rest of its platform at that point, starting first with the North American unit and then proceeding to the Latin American one.

Westcon-Comstor’s acquisition by SYNNEX is but the latest manifestation of an ongoing wave of shakeups in the distribution market. Tech Data Corp., for example, recently completed its $2.6 billion purchase of Avnet Technology Solutions, while Ingram Micro Inc. purchased value-added distributors NETXUSA Inc. and Ensim Corp. last year.