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Exertis expands US footprint with Almo buy

Distributor moves for fellow AV player as it makes its largest acquisition to support ambitions to grow its North American business

Exertis has sealed its largest acquisition to date and underlined its ambitions to grow the business on the other side of the Atlantic.

DCC Technology, which trades as Exertis, has swooped for Almo Corporation, which will add more depth to the distributor’s Pro AV business, based on an initial enterprise value of $610m.

Along with its audio visual expertise, Almo comes with a mainstream appliance business, selling kitchen packages to retailers across the US, and a foothold in the consumer appliance and lifestyle markets.

The firm, which has 660 staff operating out of nine distribution centres serving 5,000-plus customers, is a 75-year-old, third-generation, family-run business and Exertis will continue to have it run by the Chaiken family, with Warren Chaiken as president and CEO and Gene Chaiken as chairman. Sam Taylor, current executive vice-president and COO of Almo Pro AV, will run the combined Exertis and Almo Pro AV divisions.

This is not the first US acquisition for Exertis, having previously picked up Stampede, Jam Industries, The Music People and JB&A as part of a strategy to bolster its AV and consumer tech expertise.

Tim Griffin, managing director of DCC Technology and Exertis, said the acquisition showed the firm’s bullish mood about its prospects on the other side of the pond.

“The acquisition of Almo Corporation is the largest in DCC’s history and signals our confident and ambitious intent to expand DCC Technology,” he said. “By integrating Almo with our North American business, we will form the largest specialist Pro AV business in North America.

“Almo’s 75-year history of growth and success, combined with its longstanding relationships with industry partners and its ability to continually innovate and expand, will be great assets to Exertis. In turn, we will bring significant economies of scale, global supply chain access and other benefits to the customers of Almo Corporation.”

With Almo on board, Exertis’s North American operations become a $2.4bn business that will be overseen by Martin Szpiro, managing director of Exertis North America.

Almo Corporation president and CEO Warren Chaiken said the tie-up with Exertis came at the end of a year of celebrating its 75th anniversary and marked a fresh chapter for the business.

“The time is right to give our manufacturer and channel partners a truly global distribution stage so they can operate their businesses at a greater capacity, leverage more buying power and the ability to compete for a more comprehensive position in the global supply chain,” he said.

“We are committed to growing with our partners by remaining their value-added distributor with larger scale and access to more products, more services and more financial support. For them, this transition will be seamless in that we will operate business as usual.”

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