tashatuvango - Fotolia

ASL continues acquisition spree with B&M buy

Channel player’s quest to become the largest independent managed print player remains on track

ASL has an ambition to become the largest independent managed print services (MPS) provider in the UK, and has not been afraid to use acquisition as a means of getting there.

The firm has made 13 acquisitions in the past decade, three of these in the last year alone, including Smart Print Technology, Reprotec and Geerings Digital.

Some of that growth has been fuelled by the backing of private equity finance provider Primary Capital Partners, which it secured in June last year. At the time, it described the financial support as a means of continuing to expand its reach through mergers and acquisition activity.

The addition of B&M Office Machines, its 14th acquisition, will give ASL a bigger footprint in the north-west, with offices in Liverpool and a business serving that area and the Midlands, and add depth to its managed service offerings with more expertise around unified communications and production print.

It is also the first deal that has involved the firm’s recently appointed chief financial officer (CFO), Duncan Forsyth. At the time of his appointment in January, the former Westcoast staffer talked about the “opportunity for ASL to further expand its great position” as an independent provider of managed print services.

“It’s very exciting to kick off 2020 with a new acquisition. This is a very positive start to the year, and it increases our run rate to £43m, which we are extremely proud of,” said Mark Garius, managing director of ASL.

“It’s very exciting to kick off 2020 with a new acquisition. B&M has an outstanding reputation and is a fantastic business, so we are very much looking forward to joining forces”
Mark Garius, ASL

“With 37 years in operation, B&M has an outstanding reputation and is a fantastic business, so we are very much looking forward to joining forces. It’s our mission to be able to provide impartial, independent advice for all business office requirements, and as we strive to be the largest independent MPS supplier, this acquisition enables us to utilise B&M’s expertise, combine it with our own – strengthening our service offering for customers,” he added.

B&M Office Machines is a premier Ricoh and Riso reseller, providing print, photocopier and document management services, and has an established managed print business. It serves more than 3,500 customers across the Midlands and north-west, in the public and private sectors, with a number of councils and universities among its client base.

John Baccino, managing director of B&M Office Machines, said the tie-up with a larger player would be a positive for the business and its customers.

“The acquirement of B&M is fantastic news and is a direct reflection of both companies’ shared values, passion and culture,” he said. “We pride ourselves on ensuring that our customers receive outstanding service and are excited for them to experience the extra benefits that ASL can offer.”

Channel interest in managed print services continues to rise as more resellers look to add it to widen out their customer proposition. It has remained one of the bright spots in a print industry that has seen hardware sales struggle to deliver the growth that partners might be looking for.

Read more on Managed Print Services