ScanSource to buy video conferencing distributor Imago for £24m

AUTHOR: Inavate

Imago Group, a UK headquartered video systems distributor, is to be bought by international technology distributor ScanSource for £24.5m (€30.8m). InAVate caught up with Imago founder and managing director, Ian Vickerage, and Mike Ferney, president of worldwide communications and services at Scansource.

Ian Vickerage, Imago founder and managing director will remain as managing director of the company that will soon be known as Imago ScanSource.

Vickerage told InAVate that ScanSource, a major distributor in the USA and Latin America, was keen to build on its European operations with the acquisition. He will report to Mike Ferney, president of worldwide communications and services at ScanSource.

Ferney commented: “We’re very strong in videoconferencing, voice communications and data networking in the US but we have global ambitions and our European practice so far has been focused on the voice business.”

Ferney believes the acquisition will expand ScanSource’s European operations and Vickerage adds: “It’s not a question of world domination. We have many customers who deploy solutions globally. It’s important to them that they have a link and support from the same organisation in the many regions they work with.”

Vickerage wouldn’t be drawn on whether the acquisition would lead to the company taking on further brands, only saying: “We have had discussions about particular brands prior to the acquisition and [the acquisition] has possibly accelerated adoption.”

As for expansion into further regions, Vickerage says: “If there is strong demand in other territories in Europe then we’ll look at that. It may not be that we do that by acquisition, we may do that by another route. But certainly there is an appetite to strengthen the position in Europe appropriately.”

And expansion further afield?

Ferney says it’s too early to talk about any expansion outside Europe and the Americas but doesn’t rule it out.

What both Vickerage and Ferney are clear about is the need to tread carefully. Vickerage says: “We’re not going to turn what is a well-oiled system into chaos. We want to maintain high quality, good value add and high customer service.”

Ferney adds: “We need to digest the opportunities presented by the acquisition first. We need to ensure consistency for our customers and vendor partners. While we’d love to give our resellers a platform to get into additional regions we would want to do that in a methodical manner.

In a prepared statement, Mike Baur, CEO of Scansource, said: “The proposed acquisition of Imago represents the next step in ScanSource’s strategy to be the leading value-added distributor of video, voice and data solutions for resellers in Europe.

“Ian Vickerage, Imago founder and managing director, has grown his business into the best value-added distributor of video and voice solutions in Europe. He has agreed in the letter of intent to remain as managing director of the company and will continue to lead the talented management team he has built at Imago.”

About Imago
Imago was founded in 1991, employs nearly 120 people and has agreements with a number of vendors including Polycom, Barco, Samsung and NEC. It recently expanded into Germany with the acquisition of videoconferencing distributor, VITEC Distribution.

Imago sales for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2014 are estimated to total £54 million (approximately €68 million). An all-cash transaction has been negotiated that includes an initial purchase price of approximately £24.5 million followed by earn-out payments over the next two years.