Maclean still on acquisition trail

Maclean still on acquisition trail

Buying former rival ATL Systems will certainly not be the last acquisition for Maclean Computing.

The acquisition is Maclean Computing’s sixth and the largest, says managing director Allan Maclean.

However, while acknowledging that this purchase represents a major investment, Maclean says the company remains open to further acquisitions and hinted that the next one may not be far off.

Last week Maclean Computing bought ATL, which has offices in Auckland and Wellington, for an undisclosed sum. The purchase has provided Maclean Computing with a long-desired Wellington office, says Maclean.

“We’ve had a lot of customers asking us to be in Wellington. The opportunity to act on these requests is fantastic.”

Buying a going concern was a far better option than going into the Wellington market cold, says Maclean.

The acquisition will also elevate Maclean Computing’s overall size and profile, he adds. “It is very exciting – we can’t see anything stopping us from expanding in our chosen target market.”

Before the purchase, Maclean Computing had 62 staff and it looks set to add most of ATL’s 14 employees. It is already recruiting more sales and engineering staff to address business opportunities presented by the acquisition, says Maclean. “We are moving immediately to recruit in both those areas.”

The sale of ATL Systems to Maclean Computing is the final chapter in what was once one of New Zealand’s most successful resellers.

As one former employee, who did not wish to be named, says: “It was an extremely successful reseller. It had everything going for it.”

At its peak ATL had 36 staff and in 2004 moved to larger 650 square metre Auckland premises to cater for further growth. It was also a Microsoft Gold partner and large-account reseller, as well as one of two EMC Premier partners, along with Gen-i.

However, ATL’s business entered a steady decline that was triggered, according to sources, by the departure of around 20 key employees and subsequently some major clients.

While declining to comment on the factors leading to ATL’s contraction, Maclean says the company still has solid existing accounts and good relationships. “We will look to retain those and grow the business.”

And even though ATL has traditionally serviced larger clients than Maclean, the latter will still focus on its core target market of companies with 10 to 250 seats, says sales and marketing director Chris Maclean.

“By virtue of this acquisition there will be some larger customers that we will continue to nurture.”

ATL managing director Mike Milne will assist Maclean with the merger of the two businesses over the next month, but plans to then exit the industry.

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