MACLEAN Computing is going great guns in order to achieve its business target of boosting staff numbers as it heads down the consolidation and acquisition path.
The company bought IT solutions and services firm Trimax Information Systems after about three weeks negotiation. “When we sat back in March last year we planned for business around 50 people and we’re now up to 45. I figured it would take ... years ... but opportunities come up and you need to take them,” says Allan Maclean, managing director of Maclean Computing.
“The negotiations were from mid-December to Christmas Eve. It didn’t take long at all.”
Through the acquisition, Maclean Computing will take on seven more staff members from Trimax.
Trimax boss Peter Young is upbeat about the decision he and his partner, South African Rob Joliffe, made to sell to Maclean Computing. With the company boasting a turnover of around $6 million, Young says the decision was based on timing and a good opportunity presented by Maclean Computing.
“We felt it was a very good fit [between the companies], as they have a similar … philosophy and objectives as Trimax. The continuity appealed to us, particularly in relation to our team,” Young says. “From a client perspective there would be a lot of continuity around products and services.”
The Trimax deal follows hot on the heels of Maclean’s acquisition of the infrastructure services division of TechTonics Group’s Auckland branch in December 2003.
Commenting on both deals, Maclean says: “One of the difficulties ... for a mid-sized business is ensuring you have all the expertise and that you can afford the expertise and the training,” he says, adding that “consolidation is essential. One of the concerns I’ve had is the industry, in spite of its so-called intelligence, it is probably one of the lowest margin industries around. The manufacturers in particular are quite relaxed about allowing margins to decimate — there just isn’t the viable business for the margins they recommend so it’s important that we sell both product and services.”