The world's biggest distributor, Ingram Micro, has ended its foray into Africa – for now – following the termination of its joint venture with MB Technologies which formed Ingram Micro South Africa three years ago.
Glenn Fullerton, CEO of MB Technologies, says the company has acquired Ingram's 50% stake and acquired full ownership of Ingram Micro SA. Fullerton declined to give the monetary value of the acquisiton, but said MB Tech had paid "fair value" for Ingram's stake in the local operation.
"In the original agreement between the two companies we defined an initial period of three years giving both parties the right to end the joint venture and the right to buy one or the other out," says Fullerton. "It is a standard Texas Auction Clause and, as the three-year period has now been reached, we've decided to exercise our option to buy Ingram's shareholding.
"From both parties' perspectives it has been a successful three years," Fullerton adds. "Ingram SA has secured leading market share with products like Seagate and Kingston and turnover has grown nicely during the period. We've also managed to build relationships with companies we previously hadn't dealt with.
"We've also forged a relationship with Ingram Micro in Europe that has potential in the future," he says. "They know how we operate, our corporate governance matches, our ethics match, targets and forecasts have been met, predictions have been made, and they have seen the tenacity of the local team.
"To start up a greenfield in the high volume, low marging market that is component distribution the way we did with Ingram SA is incredible and they have been impressed by that," he adds.
Rumours in the local channel have been rife about whether or not Ingram Micro will now decide to enter the market on its own, but efforts to contact Ingram Europe on this proved unsuccessful.
Fullerton says he can't comment on Ingram's future plans for the territory.
"It would be sheer speculation for us to comment on that," he says. "But we do have an extremely good working relationship with them and will continue with that going forward."
Fullerton stresses that Ingram SA will be re-branded and will be a fully autonomous subsidiary of the MB Technologies group.
"The important thing for the channel to understand is that this transaction will in no way change the way the business operates or impact on its management," he says. "It will not become a division of Tarsus as has been speculated by some and there will be absolutely no change regarding staff or the day-to-day operations.
"It will be a totally autonomous operation under the MB Technologies banner," he says.