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Datatec buys US Cisco distie

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Westcon Group has paid $500 million for GE Capital’s connectivity distributor Comstor.net. Washington-based Comstor.net, which mainly distributes Cisco kit, will become a part of RBR Networks – a subsidiary of Westcon's parent group Datatec. The two will create a global sales and marketing division to support Cisco resellers, according to a company statement. This will give Westcon two global distribution arms. The Westcon division will sell mainly Nortel Networks, Lucent and 3Com to the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong and South Africa. The RBR Networks division will concentrate on the same market, with an emphasis on Cisco. Westcon has another reason to be cheerful, having just secured a £15 million deal which sees it become Computacenter's preferred supplier of 3Com kit. Each arm will keep its own sales and marketing management. The acquisition will bring the company's annual sales to more than $1 billion. Comstor.net also distributes products from about 15 other vendors. It recently changed focus to become a niche distributor, culling its manufacturer base to specialise in internetworking products and services. The consolidation will offer Westcon's resellers more best-of-breed LAN/WAN and next generation networking solutions, the company said. "We are very energised about the idea of joining such a highly-regarded, VAR-focused company," said Barry Culman, Comstar.net president. ®

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