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Northamber bolsters UC position with Tempura buy

Distributor adds more comms, AV depth and geographical coverage with move for fellow channel player

Northamber has strengthened its audio visual (AV) and unified communications (UC) position after picking up Tempura.

The distributor is adding the fellow distie, which specialises in UC, including voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), connectivity, audio visual and video conferencing services in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux region, for £6.02m.

Tempura operates out of offices in Basingstoke, Dublin and the Netherlands, supporting a 6,500-strong partner base. The business works around three main areas – networking and connectivity, voice and telephony, and unified comms – with AV and video incorporated into the mix.

Northamber’s motivation for the deal included the strong services capability offered by the firm, and the Irish and Dutch presence of the Tempura business will extend its overpriced reach, but the firm is also buying a profitable business that it believes has the potential for further organic growth.

The expectation is that the Tempura deal will be earnings-enhancing in its first full year of ownership, even before the two firms have worked through any potential synergies.

Alex Phillips, executive chairman of Northamber, said Tempura had a track record stretching over two decades that would add more depth to the business.

“We are excited by the opportunities that lay ahead as we continue to invest in profitable growth and offer our unique brand of services across the broadening customer base of the business, including particularly in international markets,” he said.

Planned moves

Phillips indicated this was the first of a few planned moves to further bolster the channel player’s position in the AV market.

“The Board believes that there is significant opportunity for further suitable acquisitions in the sector, which should generate additional value for Northamber’s shareholders in the medium term,” he said.

The plan is to keep the current leadership at Tempura at the helm to ensure the two firms are able to take advantage of the tie-up.

Matthew Light, managing director of Tempura, said there were already areas that it had identified would benefit from being part of the Northamber Group.

“We see a great many synergies with Northamber, including its culture, products and services, and I am pleased to be joining the senior management team of a founder-friendly business and to become a shareholder in Northamber,” he said.

“By becoming part of the Northamber Group, we will be able to reinforce and broaden our offering to existing and new customers, driving growth of both Tempura and the current Northamber business, together with continued gross margin improvement, aided through shared best practices and general economies of scale linked by a common ethos and goal focused around service,” said Light.

For the full year ended 30 June 2023, unaudited management accounts showed Tempura had revenues of £14.61m, EBITDA of £0.96m and profits before tax of £0.81m. Net assets were £3.02m. Similarly, for the six months ended 31 December, Tempura had revenues of £6.11m, EBITDA of £0.91m and profits before tax of £0.81m. Net assets were £3.78m.

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