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Microsoft gold partner Bliss-Systems snapped up by Hemingways

Channel player is the latest example in a rapidly growing list of consolidation moves across the channel

One consequence of viewing your channel partner as a trusted adviser is that there might be a temptation to feel that the business cannot really flourish without them.

Taking that to its logical conclusion seems to be what has happened at e-commerce gifting, sales and distribution specialist Hemingways, which has decided to acquire Microsoft gold partner Bliss-Systems for an undisclosed sum.

Bliss comes with 12 staff and offices in Leeds and Oxford and is being purchased for its technical and professional web service expertise.

Hemingways has ambitions to grow the business as it gets closer to breaking through the £200m turnover barrier, which would be up from the £129m it delivered in 2019/20.

“There is a very technical side to our business and Bliss-Systems will further strengthen our e-commerce capabilities,” said Andrew Johnson, managing director of Hemingways.

“The team at Bliss-Systems is highly skilled and has great expertise, making it the perfect partner for us. We have a long-standing relationship already with them, having built and supported numerous white-label e-commerce solutions for our Voucher Express brand and this move will secure our position as a leading technology player in the prepaid sector.”

Johnson said Bliss-Systems would continue to operate as a standalone business and hinted that it could pitch its expertise to other customers. “The acquisition gives it a strong foundation from which to grow and develop its services to a wider range of public and private enterprises,” he added.

In response, Dan Donnelly, managing director at Bliss-Systems, said the firm was familiar with its new owners and saw opportunities to add value.

“The new relationship will afford both companies opportunities in terms of growth, strength and standing,” he said. “As is often the case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Hemingways has a customer base more than 7,000 strong across 14 countries, including the likes of Cadbury, John Lewis, IKEA and Ticketmaster. The firm provides promotion and sales through e-commerce offerings along with managed software platforms, sales, warehousing, assembly and distribution.

The business’ Voucher Express brand gives customers the option of offering  pre-paid products such as gift vouchers, gift cards and e-vouchers.

The Hemingways acquisition adds to a growing number of deals that have been struck across the channel this year. The Microsoft partner world has already seen several gold partners snapped up, with the most recent being cloudThing, acquired by Kerv last week.

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