Arrow Electronics knows its target market. The company is a leading global distributor of electronic components and computer products, alongside rival Avnet. It sells semiconductors, passive components, interconnect products, and computer peripherals to more than 120,000 equipment manufacturers and commercial customers. Arrow also provides value-added services, such as materials planning, design and engineering, inventory management, and contract manufacturing. The company operates from some 300 locations in more than 50 countries; more than half of its sales come from outside the US. It distributes products made by such manufacturers as Cree, Panasonic, Microsoft, and Intel.
Arrow's customers are primarily manufacturers in industries such as aerospace and defense, computers, gaming, industrial equipment, instrumentation, medical and scientific devices, networking, optoelectronics, and telecommunications equipment, as well as resellers of computer systems. Electronic components account for more than two-thirds of sales. Its Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) business -- which sells hardware, software, storage, and security products to value-added resellers -- makes up the remainder. ECS has added professional consulting, cloud computing, managed services, and technical training as the business unit expands its support for resellers and systems integrators beyond hardware sales.
In 2012, the company added computer system integration and fulfillment facilities in Brazil and India to existing locations in China, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, and the US. The facilities offer design and manufacturing services to OEMs, including system integration, hardware design, packaging, testing, material planning and sourcing, compliance consulting, order automation, and global pricing services. In addition, the company signed a North American distribution deal with Trend Micro in 2012, bolstering its selection of data center products for large and midsized enterprises with more content security and threat management software.
Overall sales were up 14% in 2011. Sales of electronic components rose nearly 13%, helped by higher demand in Europe and the Americas, as well as acquisitions; sales in Asia/Pacific were down 10% in the segment on weakness in the low-end mobile handset market, offset in part by an increase in demand for lighting and transportation products. Sales in Arrow's ECS business saw a 17% increase on higher demand for its server, software, and storage products, as well as services, in North America and Europe.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Arrow continues to expand its service capabilities and global presence, primarily through acquisitions. To extend the range of its service portfolio, in 2012 the company bought Texas-based TechTurn, a specialist in IT asset retirement, data disposal, diagnostic testing, refurbishment and resale.
Further extending its electronics asset disposition (EAD) services, Arrow also bought Asset Recovery Corporation in 2012. Asset Recovery offers data removal and security, refurbishment, and remarketing services that comply with local and national environmental regulations. The acquisition expanded Arrow's North American customer base in the finance, health care, manufacturing, retail, and transportation markets. Arrow bolstered its EAD business again later that year when it acquired Global Link Technology, a company with a strong presence in the Rocky Mountain region that provides many of the same services as Asset Recovery.
Additionally, in 2012 the company acquired Redemtech, a provider of electronics asset disposition services, from Micro Electronics. Redemtech specializes in data removal, data security, refurbishment, and remarketing of electronic assets, as well as helping business comply with local and national data security and environmental regulations.
Also in 2012 Arrow bought value-added distributor, ALTIMATE Group, a subsidiary of DCC plc that sells enterprise and midrange computing products and services. Intended to bolster Arrow's presence in Europe, ALTIMATE operates in eight countries in the region, including France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK; it pulled in nearly $300 million in sales for fiscal 2011. It also acquired Beijing-based Seed International's distribution business that year to gain greater access to the Chinese market. A specialist in digital signal processing technology, Seed distributes and services embedded computing products mostly made by Texas Instruments.
In 2011 Arrow made two significant purchases in its components segment. The company bought Nu Horizons Electronics, an electronic components distributor with sales offices and regional logistics centers around the world, boosting its custom logistics and life-cycle services for OEM customers and expanding its presence in the Asia/Pacific region. The acquisition of the RF, Wireless and Power Division (RFPD) of Richardson Electronics extended Arrow's presence in the wireless and power conversion markets and added expertise in radio-frequency (RF) design and engineering.
In a smaller 2011 acquisition, Arrow bought Cross Telecom, a provider of telecommunications integration and managed services specializing in VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and unified communications. The company also expanded its reach in Japan with the purchase of Chip One Stop, which supplies electronic components to design engineers in that country. – less