Despite the news about the latest round of acquisitions, there may be many more acquisitions flying under the radar.
Can we all calm down about the recent spate of dealer acquisitions? It’s not like we haven’t been there done that before. There’s always a lot of interest when a new acquisition is announced, but the reality is that’s often not all there is.
In case you missed it, and I don’t know how you could have, on Wednesday Marco issued a press release about its acquisition of Executive Technologies. That was followed by a press release on Thursday from Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America who announced that its direct sales division, Sharp Business Systems, had acquired select assets of Texas Document Solutions. And this morning we learned that Flex Technology Group had acquired CBE Office Solutions in Irvine, California. Now that’s a significant acquisition because Flex Technology Group has a reputation for buying larger dealers and CBE, is in our estimation, a $20+-million dealer if not even larger than that.
So, before we lose our heads over these three acquisitions, can I offer a dose of reality? These are just the acquisitions that have been publicized. That goes for this week and any other week. It’s not unusual when a dealer is acquired if the acquirer prefers not to publicize the acquisition. Sharp Business Systems, for example, used to maintain a low acquisitions profile. Lately, it has been much more forthcoming about the acquisitions it has made.
Part 1 of our annual dealer survey, which will be published in October, has a section devoted to acquisitions. Not to give too much away, but the number of acquisitions reported by dealers for 2018 is down from 2017. (Our survey tracks acquisitions from the previous year.) Still, the total number of acquisitions that are publicized only scratches the surface of the acquisitions reported in our survey. In our 2018 annual dealer survey, for example, the number of dealerships acquired in 2017 was 121 yet we did not see 121 acquisitions announcements in 2017.
There are some companies who religiously publicize their acquisitions, including Flex Technology Group, Marco, UBEO, and Visual Edge. DEX used to be a member of that club, but since it was acquired by Staples, things have changed. Meanwhile, Visual Edge hasn’t announced an acquisition since last November.
I suggest, the next time we report on the latest acquisition or acquisitions, remember, that’s probably not all there is.
And if you’d like to publicize an acquisition in The Cannata Report, or discuss your acquisition strategy or other initiatives with us, email me at email@example.com.
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