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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

New Ingram Micro Owner to Invest in Distributor

Don’t expect Irvine-based Ingram Micro Inc. to cut costs under new Chinese owner Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co. Ltd.

Chief Executive Adam Tan indicated the conglomerate will pour resources into growing the world’s largest technology products distributor and initiating a hiring push.

“We are going to give more money,” he said. “Ingram will acquire more business … We are going to hire more people.”

Tianjin is a unit of Hainan-based HNA Group, which controls $90 billion in assets through major operations in aviation, tourism and logistics.

Ingram has been a frequent acquirer under Chief Executive Alain Monie, who has diversified offerings into higher-margin business lines in mobility, the cloud, and add-on services since taking the helm in 2012.

He will retain his post at Ingram, which will maintain its name and brand after the transaction closes in the second half of the year.

Ingram acquired nine companies last year, including San Paulo-based Grupo ACAO, one of the largest IT providers in Latin America, which is projected to add $300 million in annual revenue; two e-commerce fulfillment divisions of Netherlands-based DocData BV for $175 million that add at least $150 million to the top line; and businesses in Peru and Chile from Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data Corp., which is expected to add $270 million in annual sales.

The comments, made at a recent “global town hall” video event after the $6 billion deal was announced, bode well for Ingram’s local operation, considering most big takeovers prompt deep job cuts and other cost-cutting initiatives.

Irvine is home to about 950 Ingram employees as of March 2015, according to Business Journal research, and will continue to serve as its headquarters. Ingram employed about 28,000 at that time in operations around the globe.

The company, founded in 1979, had annual sales of $43 billion last year and net income of $215.1 million.

Blizzard Probes Player Interest

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc. recently sent out a survey to players gauging interest in a “World of Warcraft: Ultimate Movie Edition” that includes the game, prior expansion sets, and one month of free game play.

Tie-in promotions typically aren’t newsworthy, but Blizzard recently stopped disclosing WoW subscription figures in its quarterly reports as its largest source of revenue diminished over the years.

The company since the end of 2014 has lost more than 4.5 million subscribers, who pay about $15 per month for the service. The last reported subscription figure released through September was 5.5 million.

Blizzard could get a significant subscription bump this summer with the June release of the full-length movie “Warcraft” and the game’s sixth expansion set, “World of Warcraft: Legion,” which will launch around the same time.

The local unit developed the screen adaptation of the fantasy role-playing franchise hit “Warcraft” with Burbank-based Legendary Pictures LLC. Universal Pictures is the distributor.

New Smith Micro Buy

Smith Micro Software Inc. is poised to acquire Birdstep Technology’s software development and marketing arm in Stockholm, Sweden, for $2 million, according to regulatory filings.

The cash buy, expected to close in the next few weeks, will add technical resources, engineering expertise in wireless connectivity, and a customer base in Asian, European and African markets, according to the company.

Smith Micro, whose share price has languished under $1 for more than seven months, adopted a “poison pill” measure in October to keep the company from being acquired without board approval.

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