Dayton, Ohio-based digital signage solutions company STRATACACHE has acquired the UK integrator Sys-Teams, giving the company in-house European capability for installation, integration and field services.
Sys-Teams has focused its projects in the UK and EU and, under STRATACACHE, plans to expand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, beginning with Germany and the Benelux region.
The deal adds 35 people – primarily technicians, engineers and installers – to what is now a rolled-up headcount of about 750 people across CEO Chris Riegel’s ever-growing empire.
The deal was led by London-based STRATACACHE Capital Managing Partner Dirk Huelsermann. “This acquisition marks another milestone in STRATACACHE’s aggressive expansion strategy,” he says. “With the addition of Sys-Teams, STRATACACHE further enhances the ability to serve as a worldwide solution provider, adding significant field services in the EU — a complement to current services in the Americas and Asia-Pacific region, including India, China and Australia. We’re fully prepared to lead global brands who are seeking to improve their retail customer experience.”
This makes 18 acquisitions in 15 years for Riegel, and it is the second major acquisition led by Huelsermann since his team was set up a year ago. Huelsermann, and ultimately Riegel, have more than 30 potential deals a month come on their radar.
Riegel says he and his European people were already familiar with Sys-Teams, with the Surray-based pro AV integrator having operated as the deployment partner on some large Scala software-driven jobs. Unlike many, to most, of the M&A work that’s inbound, in this case Riegel says his guys approached Sys-Teams about a deal.
“I’m very impressed with the current Sys-Teams management, so no changes at the top, simply the addition of resources and growth,” says Riegel. “We have already added new service teams based in Sittard (NL) and Germany to start the growth of Sys-Teams services in Europe.”
This all fits with Riegel’s drive to own the business from start to finish on jobs – meeting enterprise clients desires to have a one-invoice, one-call turnkey provider, and also generating revenue all up and down the solutions stack.
STRATACACHE has done the basics – like project management and deployment – for a long time, but in recent years Riegel has bought or started companies that do things like front-end strategy consulting (Q Division), hardware (he has an outdoor display division now), analytics (Walkbase) and now full deployment capability in Europe.
No reason to think Riegel is done. I still think there’s a business in focused creative production in signage, but when I asked Riegel at the recent Coffee and Controversy event in New York, he said clients are too finicky and unpredictable about creative, and the money isn’t there.
Riegel has been in China for the last week, which should tell you something about where his interests are lately (giant market, though seriously different).