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Avisen acquires Xploite for joint buy and build strategy

Alex Scroxton
Acquisitive software reseller Avisen is to take-over investment vehicle Xploite in a deal that values the Storage Fusion and former Anix owner at just under £11.4m.

Xploite CEO Ian Smith had previously returned the cash made from the sale of its IBM specialist arm Anix to ACS to roll-up other larger mid-market managed services and SaaS dealers.

This strategy changed to focus on smaller resellers in late 2009 after no suitable targets emerged, and Xploite has now decided there is strength in numbers.

In a statement issued today it said that getting into bed with Avisen would "allow existing shareholders to continue in a buy and build strategy ... and further that the Company will benefit from the ability to execute that strategy from a larger platform".

Performance management software specialist Avisen is also no shrinkingviolet on the M&A front, having bought three businesses since itsadmission to the AIM index in February 2009, including IBM Cognospartner Inca.

Should the deal be approved, the management team of the enlarged group,which will be led by CEO Marcus Hanke and includes Xploite boss IanSmith as executive chairman plan to embark on a series of further acquisitions.

"Avisen intends to strengthen its position in the business and technology consultancy sector and ... expects that its ability to identify future opportunities will be enhanced," said Hanke.

He added: "Avisen intends to utilise some of the cash resources in Xploite to significantly extend and enhance Inca's customer support offerings to its IBM client base."

Xploite added that its Storage Fusion arm's enterprise storage analysis software package, SRA, would also benefit from exposure to Avisen's customer base.

The announcement has caused some raised eyebrows in the industry. Noting that Storage Fusion made a loss in the year ended 31 October 2009, TechMarketView analyst Anthony Miller said: "The whole thing looks a bit weird to me, but I guess someone out there must think it makes sense."

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