AFTER over a decade of running his own business, Liam Venter is looking forward to focusing on doing what he loves — working with technology.
Venter has sold specialist networking and security distributor Lan1 to fellow distributor MPA, but remains at the company as a technical consultant.
Lan1 continues to trade under its own name as a division of MPA, and will have its own sales team to focus on its current brands.
Technical support, logistics and administration functions are shared with MPA, but reseller accounts remain separate.
MPA has taken on all four of Lan1’s employees.
The deal with MPA came as Venter was in talks with two other unnamed potential buyers.
“We had been looking at selling for some time. The offer from MPA came at a good time and was a good opportunity,” says Venter.
“This is a fantastic move for me. I will get to do the things I like, without the distractions. I love the technology and always have done.”
After taking on a number of large agencies in recent times Lan1 was in a position where it had to grow much bigger, says Venter.
“The agencies we had were bigger than the company,” he says.
At the same time, Steve Macmillan, managing director of MPA, was looking to expand his business through an acquisition.
“I felt there were some parallels with Lan1 and that it would be a good fit for us,” he says. “This is a big opportunity for us, but we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Acquiring Lan1’s key brands of Axis, Barracuda, Fluke, Fortinet, Proxim and Nomadix enables MPA to broaden its coverage, especially in the security space, says Macmillan.
“Security is a growing market and Liam had a strong focus on security, which we definitely want to continue to grow,” he says.
MPA’s agencies include Wyse, Secure Computing, Citrix and Allot Communications, which complements, rather than competes with, Lan1’s line-up, says Macmillan.
Meanwhile, Venter has no immediate plans to exit the industry and is keen to work with MPA.
“Steve runs a good company with a business approach very similar to Lan1’s,” he says.
Venter founded Lan1 in 1992. At its peak the company employed eight staff, but this was reduced to four as it prepared to be sold.