WESTCON, the networking technology provider that is a subsidiary of Datatec, the global technology company, has bought Austrian-based security products distributor Triple AcceSSS IT and its Switzerland-based subsidiary for an undisclosed amount, it said on Tuesday.

The acquisition will strengthen the operations of Westcon in eastern Europe, benefit its relationships with its existing vendors, including Trend Micro, F5, Blue Coat and BlueCat Networks, and add new vendors to Westcon's portfolio.

Jens Montanana, CEO of Datatec, said the acquisition "closes a clear gap" in the Westcon security business' European footprint and would allow it to serve customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

"Triple AcceSSS's vendor portfolio is complementary and the acquisition also offers opportunities for Westcon to address customer needs within adjacent territories such as Hungary, Romania and the Balkans," he said.

Triple AcceSSS provides customers with professional services such as training and helpdesk support. It is expected to report revenues of more than ?14m for the financial year to June, Datatec said.

This is Datatec's second acquisition this month. Two weeks ago, the company announced it had agreed to buy Afina, the Latin American and Iberian multinational security, virtualisation and data-centre distributor, in a deal valued at ?50m. That deal is expected to expand Westcon's presence in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and North Africa.

The acquisition of Afina should also bolster JSE-listed Datatec's target of reaching $1bn in revenue in its security-related products.

In March this year, Datatec bought PT Netpoleon, an Indonesian technology distributor, to gain its first significant presence in South-East Asia's most populous country and one of the fastest-growing economies in that region.

The acquisitions are part of Datatec's strategy to buy companies mainly in emerging markets to strengthen its portfolio.

The company said in its full-year results to February, released in May, that developing markets continued to drive growth. Security, unified communications and data-centre infrastructure were key drivers of growth.

Datatec operates in 40 countries across the world and its footprint has cushioned it against the economic downturn in some of the markets where it operates.

Its share price was down three cents to R48,37 by 4.39pm on Tuesday.

mochikot@bdfm.co.za