It’s happened! The long coming merger of Europe’s current 3rd and 4th largest distributors was announced. The new entity looks well capable of rivaling in size, if not in market presence, to that of US distributor Ingram Micro’s European interests. And arguably, by simple effect of exchange rate fluctuation [USD /Euro/CHF], the American Company’s ranking position is already in doubt. This is only data though.
Actebis GmbH, a subsidiary of the Droege International Group AG, and the publicly listed ALSO Holding AG, a subsidiary of Schindler Holding AG, intend to merge their activities. Such a merger would create the third-largest ICT and CE distribution company in Europe, with a sales revenue of around USD $9.6 billion. The merger is subject, inter alia, to the approval of the responsible competition authorities.
Whilst the merger is announced as a 1+1 = 2 (or 133 as they called it), the new to be created organization is very much absent from most of the Mediterranean basin, the British Isles and a number of other EMEA countries which together form up to 40 percent of market – just looking at PCs. Flanking opportunities may well turn out to be limited.
Additionally, there are some overlapping territories where the new enterprise will have to be much focused so as not to lose resellers to its competitors. Most resellers source from a few distributors simply to obtain credit and if these are reduced, then the likely outcome is that others will benefit.
For vendors, this is most likely good news. Simplicity in market access/coverage will have to be weighed against the increased purchasing power of the new company but we expect few will complain.
The company also indicated as merger benefit the possibility to become number one player. Whilst this is still somewhat far away, any southern European distributor is probably preparing the books.
Techaisle channel database shows over 185,000 resellers in Europe. We believe that this is a clear example of broadline distributors rethinking their strategy to take control of this vast customer base and moving from the traditional bulk braking/warehousing to a more sophisticated logistics management offering.