Empired makes $17.4m buyout to snatch Microsoft partner crown

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Empired makes $17.4m buyout to snatch Microsoft partner crown
Russell Baskerville

Empired has almost doubled its headcount with a $17.4 million acquisition of prominent trans-Tasman Microsoft partner Intergen.

"[The purchase] strategically positions Empired as the largest provider of Microsoft based application services in the Australasian region," said Russell Baskerville, managing director for Empired.

A statement to the ASX said that the $17.4 million would be paid with a mix of cash and shares and the deal is expected to be completed up by the end of the month.

Empired generated $67 million of revenue in the 2014 financial year, a rise of 44 percent.

Intergen adds around $60 million of annual revenue, and should "nearly double" Empired's workforce to 800 staff.

"I am very proud of the business we have built over the past 15 years," said Intergen's group CEO Tony Stewart. "After a lengthy process with many participants we are delighted to be joining with Empired."

Intergen Australia CEO Michael Morgan told CRN that he doesn't expect any significant changes to the local operations. "There is no thought of rationalisation or anything like that."

Morgan said that although the acquisition was for all geographic arms of Intergen, rebranding will only occur in Australia.

"The Intergen name has too much cachet in New Zealand to give up. So the NZ and US operations will remain Intergen for the foreseeable future."

Intergen is a New Zealand-origin solutions provider with extensive operations in Australia. The company is so well regarded by Microsoft that a branch in Seattle integrates solutions for the vendor itself, such as WPC Connect 2014.

"Microsoft calls us the '360-degree partner'," Morgan told CRN in June. "We are their customers and they are our customers."

Intergen made headlines earlier this year with a high-profile mobile technology overhaul for O'Brien Glass. The company held its Dynamics Day conference yesterday in Sydney – featuring Microsoft Australia's Dynamics lead John Leonard – with the show rolling into Auckland on Thursday.

Perth-headquartered Empired has notched up a series of acquisitions in recent times, all in the Microsoft space. Last month the company raised a $10.5 million fund for more buyouts, with Intergen now becoming its first successful target.

In May, Empired purchased Microsoft Dynamics CRM gold partner eSavvy, prompting Baskerville to say that the company had becomes the biggest Dynamics CRM partner in the country. Intergenalso adds to Empired's Microsoft Dynamics credentials.

Morgan told CRN that although Empired's previous Microsoft partner acquisitions have overlaps with Intergen, its ERP and project management office capabilities will be unique attributes brought to the Empired family.

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