Bytes reveals appetite for Xerox businesses

Bytes reveals appetite for Xerox businesses

Microsoft LAR Bytes Technology is on the acquisition trail and has set its sights on two UK Xerox resellers.

Bytes exclusively said that it is in takeover talks with four Xerox partners, and is confident two deals could be concluded by April.

South African-owned Bytes Technology Group recently signed an NHS Enterprise agreement worth £150m over three years.

Darren Spence, Bytes group marketing director, said: “Apart from the government clients, we have 1,000 corporate clients in the UK. Now we want to repeat that success with our Xerox services.”

In March 2006, Bytes bought Xerox partner Xclusive Solutions. Another acquisition, of Watford-based Vantage Business Systems, followed six months later.

Collectively, the Xerox businesses turn over £25m a year, according to Spence.

“There are offers on the table for a number of Xerox [channel] businesses,” he said.

The recent launch of Xerox’s Extensible Enterprise Platform had helped Xerox business partners offer a clearly understood services proposition, he added.

“This has helped Xerox multifunctional printers and services to sell well in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and financial services, in which strict document management compliance is obligatory,” said Spence.

Bytes’ acquisition strategy in the Xerox market has raised questions among its competitors.

Shaun Fröhlich, managing director of rival Teksys and a former Bytes chairman, said: “It is good to see the company go from strength to strength and I wish it well for its future success.”

However, Fröhlich questioned Bytes’ underlying motive for releasing details of its acquisition strategy.

“It seems it is looking to boost its profile and possibly to attract some acquisitions,” he said.

“It is an interesting tactic. Perhaps it is a smart way of branding itself as leader, which could help with sales recruitment and gaining leverage with other software publishers besides Microsoft.”