U.K.-based Colt Group announced intent to acquire Japan’s KVH for €130.3 million (about $162 million). KVH expands Colt’s capabilities in key Asian markets and its ability to serve multi-national customers overall. The transaction is subject to shareholder approval.
The two companies have complementary businesses with similar technology, platforms, business models, and product sets. Both KVH and Colt are owned by Fidelity Investments, which bailed Colt out in 2001 when the telecom bubble burst.
Colt and KVH look to cloud and data center services as a big growth opportunity. Colt offers data center, cloud, and managed services in Europe, while KVH primarily serves Asia Pacific. The integration should go smoothly given the similarities.
The acquisition is a big geographic expansion play, allowing Colt to enter the Asia Pacific IT services market, which is growing about 12 percent a year. The major KVH markets Colt is interested in are Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Seoul.
“The acquisition puts Colt in a position to address the emerging strategic interest of global data center providers to establish footprints within core connectivity hubs in Asia," Jabez Tan, senior analyst for data centers at Structure Research, said. "KVH enables Colt to serve both existing customers and address new opportunities in Asia, providing a platform for Colt from which it can build upon to make the shift into a fragmented Asian market.”
“I am pleased to announce our plan to acquire KVH,” Colt CEO Rakesh Bhasin commented. "It is a growing business, largely focused on network and data centers in Asia. They have strong capabilities, a significant customer base and great assets, all complementary to our own. This partnership will enable Colt to offer our customers seamless solutions on a global basis and give us a solid platform for growth in Asia.”