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Avnet CEO: We still have an appetite to acquire

Microscope contributor

Avnet is likely to get acquisitive later in the year, once Bell Microproducts and its other more recent conquests are fully digested, as management bandwidth and not financial limitations are shaping its buy and build strategy.

In calendar 2010, Avnet shelled out around $600m for Bell back in March - the largest deal in its history - and also took over seven other firms in the year, including Latin American outfit Tallard Technologies. 

During a recent Q2 conference call with analysts, Avnet chairman Roy Vallee said: "We still have a significant appetite for acquisition. I don't think that M&A will be gated by our ability to finance."

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the last full quarter was $757m and net debt was $1.3bn, according to the distributor.

Vallee pointed to the cash flow generated during the V-curve recovery, with $1.1bn generated in the "down slope" and used $250m in cash during in the "up slope".

"So we still have net created enough cash to pay for all the acquisitions that we've done this fiscal year," he said.

"We've got our opportunity pipeline working, there is quite a bit of activity. The one thing that we will allow to be a limiting factor, if you will, is to ensure that wherever we're acquiring, we have the organisational bandwidth to do a proper job on the integrations."

He said the integration of Bell, "the big one", was ongoing - it is scheduled to be completed over the next two quarters - and it had started to bed down Australian integrator itX.

However, it was too early to reveal if Avnet will "de-select any low-margin revenue", added Vallee.

Sources in the channel had speculated that the volume software licensing business that Avnet inherited through Bell did not fit the model.

Vallee said: "At the moment we haven't identified any significant pockets of revenues that we do want to deselect, but we're really only two quarters in here on managing these acquired businesses and we're still teaching, delivering and execut


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