Cynthia Wisehart on Acquisition Mania

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It was an acquisition kind of month. Diversified started things off on July 11th, announcing they had established an office in Dubai via the acquisition of engineering company TSL FZ, Dubai Studio City. They expect growth in the region, and there is, and has been. The boom fell apart in 2008, where you could see leased cars literally abandoned at the airport or by the side of the road as the party screeched to a halt and many expats headed home.

But it’s finding it’s way back—certainly big projects are getting built, both in Dubai and neighboring Abu Dhabi. Who can forget the Yas Island Louvre? Or the Ferrari Museum where one goes to pick up one’s Ferrari? Warner Brothers’ new park is opening as we go to press. And of course there will be the Dubai World’s Fair in 2020.

Yet Dubai has remained controversial, especially, sometimes, when it comes to getting paid. There have been costs, even some tragedies, for those who participated, and there has been success. Diversified’s Founder and CEO Fred D’Alessandro thinks it will be the latter going forward. From the press release: “Our aim is to have a world class Middle East team, working with the most diverse, advanced and experience engineering team across the globe to better serve our client’s growing demands.”

Diversified President/COO Kevin Collins added to the statement: “We expect the growth in EMEA to continue at a rapid pace and we will be well positioned to serve the region with our multiple technology specializations.”

In other acquisition news Stampede announced two days later that it had been acquired by the technology division of DCC plc, a £14.3 billion revenue, London Stock Exchange-listed (LSE) international sales, marketing and support services group that employs 11,000 people in four divisions operating in 17 countries. Stampede will complement DCC’s Exertis brand in Europe and will give DCC a North American presence.

Stampede President & CEO Kevin Kelly released this statement: “Overnight, Stampede has become one of the world’s largest ProAV distributors…we are now able to scale across all ProAV product categories in all vertical markets globally in a way that we simply could not do on our own.”

Four days later, Almo Proessional A/V also extended its global reach with the acquisition of certain assets of Insteo, Inc. a specialized digital signage content and creative company. This brings new creative capabilities and integrated platforms to Almo, and new talent led by award-winning designer and industry leader Jim Nista who founded Insteo, a leading provider of HTML5-baed creative content.

Almo EVP/COO Sam Taylor says the acquisition geographically extends Almo’s reach as well. “In addition to the U.S., these services can be accessed throughout Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean, and we have plans for expansion.” Ironically at a time when our country is being led away from globalization and seeking to fortify trade borders, many in the business community realize that opportunity flows the other way.



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