PC Mall, the California-based direct marketing reseller, is to acquire Sarcom - "one of (America's) largest independent IT solution providers" - for $55m. More or less: some $19.6m of the purchase price is contingent on net assets declared by Sarcom. So the money could move up or down, depending on what the auditors find out.
The upshot is that PC Mall is paying about $35m net for a company with $250m annual revenues. Of course, Sarcom could be loaded with debt - there's no mention in the press statement. Or it simply means that Sarcom is at best a low-profit business.
Profits or no profits, Columbus, Ohio-based Sarcom operates higher up the value chain than PC Mall - it has all the usual badges: Cisco Gold Partner, HP Elite, Microsoft LAR. And so on. We guess that PC Mall can run the product side of the business more efficiently and claw bigger discounts from suppliers than Sarcom can on its own.