Europe’s largest technology group – which has its headquarters in Birmingham – has sold its distribution arm in a £219 million deal.
Specialist Distribution Group (SDG), which turns over about £1.1 billion, part of Specialist Computer Holdings (SCH), has been acquired by US technology distributor Tech Data Corporation.
SDG has around 600 members of staff in the UK, France and the Netherlands, with British distribution companies including IQ Sys and ISI Distribution.
SCH said it will reinvest the money from the deal into its other arm – technology services brand SCC.
The parent company – which employs more than 7,000 staff in five countries and has an annual turnover exceeding £2.75 billion – said it was aware of a market drive towards consolidation and vendors wanting less partners who are more specialist and focused on their core business.
For the financial year ended March 31 SDG companies generated third-party sales of around £1.1 billion.
Group chairman and chief executive Sir Peter Rigby said: “We have seen the consolidation of distribution businesses worldwide in the course of the last few years and consider that now is the optimum time to pass SDG into the hands of a global player.
“We believe that Tech Data will fulfill the aspirations of our distribution business and of our personnel.”
Sir Peter added: “This decision allows us to focus entirely upon SCC to take its excellent track record to date yet further in terms of scale, capability and coverage.
“The opportunity to maximise our return on investment and deploy a single focused strategy with SCC has become more apparent.
“Having engaged with Tech Data, SCH has come to view the disposal of SDG as a fantastic opportunity where its unique strengths can be better developed within a global parent with distribution as its core focus.
“Likewise we plan to enhance the scale and capability of SCC significantly and to take it to the top rank in its chosen areas of activity.”
The terms of the deal include an agreement where SDG will have annual purchase commitments through Tech Data for five years, which the US giant estimates will add incremental annual sales of around £316 million.