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Datatec scoops up RBR Networks

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Datatec Ltd has plugged a huge gap in its networking equipment franchise line-up with the £25 million (including performance guarantees) purchase of Cisco-only distributor RBR Networks. With sales projected to reach £80 million this year, RBR says it accounts for more than 50 per cent of Cisco sales through the UK channel. The company will continue to operate its “Cisco First, Cisco Only” model, as a Datatec subsidiary, but it will now has the financial muscle to extend its reach as Datatec’s Cisco distribution arm. Following the deal, Datatec’s UK networking distribution business commands an annual revenues of more than £120 million. The company also gets its hands for the first time on a Cisco franchise in Europe. Datatec’s UK existing distribution business, Unity, is to be renamed, following the June takeover of US networking distributor Westcon. The RBR management team appeared to have negotiated a fair degree of autonomy. In the longterm it will trade as Westcon RBR. But for now the Cirencester-based operation retains its current brand name. More fundamentally, RBR’s management team will set company direction. Datatec runs a substantial Cisco business out of South Africa. It reckons group Cisco revenues will hit $200 million next year. However, this is not clear whether this figure includes end-user sales through its reseller arm.®

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