Bechtle Ploughs Ahead with Plans to Shake Up UK Channel

“No secret” the German reseller is eyeing a top five spot in the U.K. channel with latest acquisition.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

October 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Bechtle Ploughs Ahead with Plans to Shake Up UK Channel

Bechtle AG has taken another step in its plans to disrupt the U.K. channel leaders list.

The German reseller has completed its acquisition of U.K.-based MSP ACS Systems.

Former ACS presales director and now Bechtle technology evangelist Stephen Harley said the company relishes the prospect of taking on big U.K. channel players such as Softcat and Computacenter.


Bechtle’s Stephen Harley

“It’s not a secret that the ambition is to be in the top 10, and then top five in the U.K.,” he said.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

“Given our strength across the rest of Europe, we’ve got some unique strategic advantages to assist us. Ultimately any organisation looking to make that sort of move in the channel is going to come up against the varied and stiff competition. But it’s a challenge I know we relish. We took great pride in punching above our weight at ACS, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with the extra muscle being part of Bechtle gives us.”

U.K. Channel Put On Notice

Harley said ACS was an attractive proposition thanks to its “robust managed services business with engineering skill sets that Bechtle were looking to acquire in the U.K.”

“That was complimented with the strengths of the business in cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity and modern workplace,” he added. “The cultural fit was the icing on the cake.”

As of Oct. 1, ACS will be fully integrated under the Bechtle banner. ACS’ Northampton base will remain the centre of service delivery operations.

Harley described the closing of the deal as “an emotional moment for many of us who’ve grown-up with the ACS brand but also a very exciting one.”

“We bring a new skill set to the business in the U.K. when it comes to project and ongoing service engagements,” he said. “We can now leverage both Bechtle’s service partner portfolio but also our own teams. In the modern workplace [it’s] so important as businesses adapt to hybrid and agile working patterns post-COVID, we also bring skills and experience that few in the IT channel have.”

Second U.K. Acquisition

After ACS, Bechtle announced plans in March to snap up London-based VAR Tangible Benefit.

Harley said the firm will be busy consolidating for a little while after both acquisitions. However, he noted, “Never say never. I’m sure Konstantin [Ebert, EVP for France, Benelux and UK Bechtle AG] and James [Napp, MD of Bechtle direct U.K.] are keeping an eye out for opportunities.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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